Exeter, NH – An Exeter high school student and his mom have filed a lawsuit against the school after the student was suspended from playing in a football game for expressing his view that there are only two genders.
The lawsuit was filed in Rockingham Superior Court by his attorney Ian Huyett of Cornerstone Action, a nonprofit Christian advocacy organization. The lawsuit was filed claiming that the student’s constitutional right to free speech was violated. The suit also claims the New Hampshire Bill of Rights was violated because he expressed his Catholic belief that there are only two genders.
Cornerstone claims the school district’s policy punishes students who refuse to address students with non-binary pronouns due to religious beliefs.
“The student does not deny that he violated the Gender Nonconforming Students policy. 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.” – Excerpt from lawsuit
The high school’s policy states, “student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.” and “the intentional or persistent refusal to respect a student’s gender identity … is a violation. Of this policy.”
The student was suspended for text messages that were exchanged off-campus with a conversation with another student. The comments were not even made while in school.
“These prohibitions restrict the expression of a particular opinion and are not supported by any material or substantial disruption to school operations,”- excerpt from the lawsuit.