Marissa Darlingh, a former school counselor, filed a lawsuit against Milwaukee Public Schools for firing her after she spoke out against gender ideology at a rally in April,
Fox News Digital
In September, MPS terminated Darlingh from her position at Allen-Field Elementary School after learning about comments she made at a feminist rally in Madison, Wisconsin, earlier this year.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, representing Darlingh, filed a federal lawsuit against MPS, arguing that the termination violated Darlingh's First Amendment rights.
During an interview on Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle," Darlingh explained that she had no plans to speak at the April rally, but after being harassed by counterprotesters, she decided she needed to take a stand against the social and medical transition of children.
Darlingh said that she is against telling minors that "they were born in the wrong body" and warned about the dangers of sending children "on a path for long-term, lifelong medicalization through the use of wrong-sex hormones and drugs used off-label as puberty blockers and all the disfiguring surgeries of their healthy body parts."
Darlingh argued that the transgender movement is "driven by big pharma."
"Even though I consider myself to be a radical feminist – and I have taken my stand on radical feminist grounds – I have decided to just get out of my own way when it comes to partisan politics over this issue because it's about the safety of kids," Darlingh stated.
During Darlingh's speech at the feminist rally, she said that she "exist[s] in this world to serve children" and "to protect children." She took a stand against providing children with "unfettered access to hormones — wrong-sex hormones — and surgery."
WILL stated that while Darlingh was denouncing gender ideology in her April speech, in "the passion of the moment," she said, "F*** transgenderism. F*** these people behind us who want children to have unfettered access to hormones."
"On my dead f***ing body will my students be exposed to the harms of gender identity ideology," Darlingh stated at one point during her speech.
MPS terminates Darlingh
A group of protesters who attended the rally campaigned to remove Darlingh from her position at the public school. According to the lawsuit, less than a week after her speech at the feminist rally, the protesters' campaign prompted a district "investigation."
According to the lawsuit, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction sent a letter to Darlingh that stated it had "opened an investigation to determine whether to initiate educator license revocation proceedings against [her]" for "immoral conduct."
The letter cited her "statements that she 'oppose[s] gender identity ideology from ever entering [her] school building,' that she 'do[es] not believe children should have access to hormones or surgery,' that 'none of her students will ever transition socially or medically under [her] f---ing watch," and her other uses of the f-word."
The investigation led to Darlingh's supervisor and two HR employees bringing misconduct proceedings against her. Darlingh was subsequently suspended and issued a "no-trespass order" to stay away from school grounds.
According to the lawsuit, Darlingh attempted to work out a compromise with the district so that she could return to her position. She offered to acknowledge "that her use of profanity went too far" and "issue an apology to anyone who was offended by her use of profanity."
MPS officially fired the school counselor in September.
WILL deputy counsel Luke Berg stated that the termination was "inexcusable" and "unconstitutional" and violated Darlingh's First Amendment rights.
WILL's lawsuit seeks reinstatement of Darlingh's position at Allen-Field Elementary School, back pay, damages for the constitutional violations, and removal of the no-trespass order.
Milwaukee Public Schools did not respond to a request for comment, Fox News Digital reported.
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Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.