A Wisconsin school district has dropped sexual harassment probes for three students accused of “mispronouning” another student, who complained.
The Kiel School District in Wisconsin is closing a Title IX inquiry into three middle school students accused of sexual harassment for their failure to use the preferred pronouns of the individual accusing them of wrongdoing, Fox News reported.
“We have issued clear directives and expectations to all students involved in this matter for the purpose of preventing bullying and harassment and ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment for all of our students,” said the school district. “Based on these actions, and pursuant to District policies and procedures, the School District considers this matter closed.”
The three students, who are boys around the age of 13, faced sexual harassment charges from their middle school over accusations that they misgendered a fellow student.
According to the mother of one of the students who spoke to Fox News, Rosemary Rabidoux, her 13-year-old son, Braden, was defending his friend, who was accused by a female student who identifies by “they/them” pronouns of berating the girl for not using their preferred pronouns.
“She had been screaming at one of Braden’s friends to use proper pronouns, calling him profanity, and this friend is very soft-spoken, and kind of just sunk down into his chair,” Rabidoux said, again misgendering the female student who insists on not being called “she.”
“Braden finally came up, defending him, saying ‘He doesn’t have to use proper pronouns, it’s his constitutional right to not use, you can’t make him say things.’”
Braden’s defense of his friend earned him allegations of sexual harassment.
Braden and the other two boys were represented by a conservative legal group called Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, who expressed their satisfaction with the school district's decision to end the investigation.
"We are pleased that the Kiel Area School District has finally ended its misguided Title IX investigation," the group said. "While the District’s statement attempts to reframe the investigation, it was always primarily about ‘mispronouning.’"
"The District may not be willing to admit it publicly, but it has recognized that it has no legal basis to demand that our clients refrain from 'mispronouning' other student," the legal group added, noting that it will fight to ensure that the inquiry is erased from the students’ academic records.