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'Malicious misgendering,' 'malicious deadnaming' are 'slurs' and could get students suspended if school board approves updated rules

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"Malicious misgendering" and "malicious deadnaming" are considered gender identity "slurs," and students who use them could face suspensions depending on the "frequency and intensity" of the acts if Virginia's Fairfax County school board approves updated rules.

Changes to the Fairfax County Public Schools Students Rights and Responsibilities handbook will be voted on May 26, Fox News reported.

What are the details?

The handbook on page 63 defines "misgendering" as "the act of labelling others with a gender that does not match their gender identity — deliberately or accidentally," and "deadnaming" (page 61) means "when someone, intentionally or not, refers to a person who is transgender or gender-expansive by a name other than their own chosen name."

The section dealing with such gender identity "slurs" (page 21) indicates such acts could be considered "Level 4" offenses.

A Level 4 offense "allows for a suspension up to 5 days," the handbook says on page 19 — and new language adds "if frequency and intensity are present."

Page 27 of the handbook notes that while responses to Level 4 violations "customarily result in school-based disciplinary action," the principal "may make a referral to the Division Superintendent," which "may result in a number of different responses based on circumstances and rarely results in an expulsion."

Kindergartners through third graders who engage in such gender identity slurs are dealt with also, but on a Level 1 violation basis. Interventions for young students include seat changes, written reflections, and conferences with teachers, parents, and administrators. Sanctions can include detentions and confiscation of student articles.

What did the school district have to say?

"This was introduced last year and is not new for this year’s [handbook]," a school district spokesperson said, according to Fox News. "This is about the purposeful and deliberate misgendering of a student aimed at causing harm." The cable network added that it has reached out to the district for clarification regarding the new "frequency and intensity" language.

What did the governor have to say?

Fox News added that a spokesperson for Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin said "local school boards need to be listening to parents and focusing on core issues like school safety, learning loss from shutdowns, and ensuring our students are graduating high school college and career-ready."

Anything else?

In related news, Wisconsin's Kiel Area School District has accused a trio of eighth-grade boys of sexual harassment for using incorrect pronouns while addressing another student and filed a Title IX complaint against them amid an investigation.

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