A Wisconsin school district has dropped an attempt to severely restrict free speech in that state, ending a sexual harassment probe into three middle-schoolers accused of using the wrong pronouns – which is to say, the correct pronouns – when addressing a classmate who was pretending to be another gender.
Kiel School District announced June 8 that it has “closed” the case against 13-year-old Braden Rabidoux and two other male students, after it launched an investigation of a possible violation of Title IX, which prohibits sexual harassment or sex-based discrimination at schools and universities that receive federal funding, reported DailyMail.com.
“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,” reads a statement from the school district. “Based on these actions, and pursuant to District policies and procedures, the School District considers this matter closed.”
In its statement, the district actually admitted that the public had “sought to understand the situation better and wished the District had provided more information” about its effort coerce the students’ speech.
The school district blamed this lack of transparency on “state and federal laws related to student confidentiality, and deep concerns for student, staff, and public safety,” according to its statement.
In a joint statement, the students’ lawyers said the school found that it has “no legal basis” to demand that students use inaccurate language to refer to gender-confused peers.
“We are pleased that the Kiel Area School District has finally ended its misguided Title IX investigation. While the District’s statement attempts to reframe the investigation, it was always primarily about ‘mispronouning,'” said attorneys Luke Berg and Cory Brewer.