‘Schools cannot force students to lie about objective reality…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Officials at an Ohio school district agreed not to punish students who refuse to use biologically inaccurate gender pronouns, after an assistant prinicipal punished a sixth-grade male student who referred to another male student as “he.”
The sixth-grade male student (“John Doe” to conceal his identity) defended his use of the pronoun “he” in reference to the other male student, stating that “he is a boy, not a girl,” according to his biological sex, Liberty Counsel reported.
This alarmed the assistant principal, who informed John that he would face “consequences” for failing to follow the ideological speech codes. She reportedly told John, “You can have your own beliefs, but Boy A wants to be called a girl.”
For failing to use to transgender pronouns, she took him out of PE class for the day.
Liberty Counsel contacted the school district’s superintendent to clarify John’s rights, ensure that his school record would remain unmarred, and that other students would not be punished under similar circumstances.
“Students may respectfully share their views without being punished,” Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said. “School administrators were wrong to punish students for expressing their views on something patently obvious. Schools cannot force students to lie about objective reality.”
Gary T. Stedronsky, a lawyer representing the school district, responded to the letter and accepted Liberty Counsel’s demands.
He said John’s “record does not contain any record of disciplinary action related to the circumstances described in your letter,” and the removal from PE “did not constitute formal disciplinary action.
Stedronsky confirmed that the district’s board of education “does not discipline students for expressing respectful disagreement on any topic.”
Lastly, he confirmed that “no student … will be punished or subject to official coercion for using pronouns” consistent with biological sex.
The assistant principal appears not to have suffered punishment for disrepecting John’s beliefs and right to speak.