A school disciplined a sixth-grade student for saying that one of his trans-curious peers — a biological male — is not actually a girl.
What are the details?
The incident took place in July at a school within an undisclosed Ohio school district.
A sixth-grade boy, according to a news release by the religious liberty law firm Liberty Counsel and referred to as "Boy A," began identifying as a girl during the 2018-19 school year, referring to himself with feminine pronouns such as "she" and "her." The school reportedly complied with the student's requests, also referring to the child as a girl.
The student's transition became "heavily discussed at the school," according to the release, "particularly by a group of girls" in the student's class.
Boy A's friend, which the letter refers to as "John," was subjected to the conversations between the group of girls and Boy A about his transition.
John was reportedly "subjected to conversations about these issues constantly, on at least a weekly or semi-weekly basis."
During one particular conversation between Boy A and the group of girls, hormone therapy and surgical processes were discussed. The release noted that John "disagreed as a factual matter," and insisted that Boy A was not actually a girl. A second, unnamed male pupil, reportedly added that sex is "what you're born with." The male student insisted that, despite hormone therapy treatments and surgical procedures, sex is unchangeable.
A district teacher reportedly overheard the conversation and reported John to the assistant principal. The teacher reportedly told the administration that John was "bullying" Boy A.
The school's assistant principal reportedly called John into her office and warned the sixth-grader that "there might be consequences" because he voiced his opinion on transgenderism as it applied to Boy A. The assistant principal also reportedly pulled John out of class a second time, warning him of punishment if he refused to call Boy A by his preferred pronoun.
John also reportedly had to attend both in-school and out-of-school suspensions in connection with the incident.
Liberty Counsel said that the district backed down on punishments and enforcement after the law firm sent a letter threatening the district with a lawsuit.
The law firm advised the district that it was not legally permitted to silence or punish students who "respectfully disagree" on issues such as transgenderism, nor was it legally permitted to encourage Boy A in discussions about gender identity. It also noted that punishing John for voicing his opinion — which the firm impressed is backed by scientific fact — "turns classrooms into enclaves of totalitarianism."
The religious liberty law firm added that the organization would sue the school if it did not wipe the incident off of John's record.
The district, in its own letter, insisted that it did not "formally" punish the student. In response, the district responded to the firm's letter, saying that the school's "temporary removal" of John was not on record and insisted that the school district does not punish students for any "respectful disagreement on any topic."
The district's letter, however, said it would comply with demands set forth by Liberty Counsel in avoiding the squashing of free speech in its schools.
(H/T: The College Fix)