EXCLUSIVE: School District Sued Over Policy That Allegedly Punishes Students For ‘Misgendering’ People

By Reagan Reese for Daily Caller

parental rights organization is suing an Ohio school district over a policy that allegedly punishes students who intentionally “misgender” their peers.

Parents Defending Education (PDE), a parental rights organization, sued Olentangy Local School District on Thursday on behalf of parents within the school system, stating that the district has warned that students who intentionally use pronouns different from other students’ “preferred pronouns” are in violation its policies and will be subject to “disciplinary action.” The district’s Personal Communication Devices Policy prohibits students from using their cell phone or laptop, whether on or off campus, to send any messages that may be viewed as “harassment” of others based on their race, sex, “transgender identity” and political beliefs. (RELATED: Families Sue School District After Daughters Were Allegedly Coaxed Into ‘Secret’ Club That Hid Gender Transitions)

The district, through its attorneys, allegedly confirmed to parents that its policies prohibit students from intentionally using the wrong pronouns when addressing someone, or “misgendering” them, the lawsuit stated. This violation is subject to punishment, the district allegedly told parents.

“The ‘harassment’ policies at Olentangy impinge on basic constitutional rights and are over broad in a way that polices students’ speech both inside and outside of the classroom,” Caroline Moore, vice president of PDE, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We feel deeply for what these students and their families have gone through day in and day out during their time in the District. We look forward to championing their First Amendment rights”

Violations of the Personal Communication Devices may result in confiscation of a student’s device and discipline ranging from a warning to expulsion depending on the nature of the incident, the policy stated. The Anti-Harassment Policy prohibits “any threatening, insulting or dehumanizing” speech, and violations of the order are subject to an investigation by the school board.

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