A discussion between pupils over the types of pronouns that could be used to describe people in the Spanish language on a bus ride home got out of hand and ultimately led to a student being suspended, with the school now being sued by the teen.
The New Hampshire student-athlete together with his mother is suing his school district after he was suspended from a football game for expressing his views that there are ‘only two genders.’
The student is seeking nominal damages against New Hampshire School Administrative Unit 16 (SAU16) and Exeter High School Assistant Principal Marcy Dovholuk.
The lawsuit filed last week in Rockingham Superior Court said that the one-game suspension of the student only identified as M.P. in court documents in September, was in violation of the student’s constitutional right to free speech and the New Hampshire Bill of Rights because he expressed his religious Catholic beliefs.
M.P. is also aiming to stop Exeter High School continuing to enforce its gender-nonconforming student’s policy because of what he says is its infringement on his First Amendment rights.
The pupil believes that the school district policy essentially penalizes students simply because of their religious beliefs will refuse to address non-binary students with their chosen pronouns to describe their gender identity.
‘The student does not deny that he violated the Gender Nonconforming Students policy,’ the lawsuit states. ‘He in fact denied, and will continue to deny, that any person can belong to a gender other than that of ‘male’ or ‘female.’
‘The student will never refer to any individual person using plural pronouns such as ‘they,’ using contrived pronouns such as ‘ze,’ or with any similar terminology that reflects values which (the student) does not share.’
The high school currently has a policy whereby a ‘student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.’
But the policy also works both ways and contains a provision that the ‘the intentional or persistent refusal to respect a student’s gender identity is a violation of this policy.’
The lawsuit, seen by NHJournal describes how a teacher in the student’s Spanish class asked students to introduce themselves.
One student informed the class they considered themselves to be non-binary and wanted to be addressed by ‘they’ as a singular pronoun.
he suit then details how M.P. chatted with friends on the school over the complications of using third-person pronouns when referring to themselves in Spanish.
The third-person pronoun to refer to a group of men is ‘ellos’ but referring to a group of women it becomes ‘ellas.’
The lawsuit details how a female student overheard the conversation and told the friends, There’s more than two genders.’
The student who is suing the school responded, ‘No there isn’t: there’s only two genders.’
After M.P. got off the bus, he was texted by the student who had confronted him on the bus.
‘She pressed M.P. on the topic of gender, demanding, “Give me one valid reason why there’s only two genders,'” the lawsuit states. ‘The two then had a contentious exchange of texts on the issue.’
The lawsuit states it was those texts, which were handed over to the school administration, that resulted in M.P.’s suspension for reportedly both failing to respect another student’s gender pronouns and for ‘inappropriate language’ used in his texts, such as ‘bozo’ and ‘stfu’.’
This is an excerpt from The Daily Mail.
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