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A Wisconsin middle schooler, who is accused of sexual harassment for misgendering a classmate, said he is afraid for his future if the Title IX violation is not removed from his record.
Rosemary Rabidoux told Fox News Digital she received a phone call from the school’s principal saying she would be receiving an email with sexual harassment allegations against her son, Braden
“I immediately thought, ‘sexual harassment, that’s rape, that’s incest, that’s inappropriate touching, even grotesque language could go that far.’ And when I asked him what my son did, he said that he did not use the correct pronouns, “she said.
Braden is one of three Wisconsin students facing sexual harassment charges from their middle school over accusations they used incorrect pronouns when addressing a fellow student.
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“I was anxious and scared and upset because I did not know what was going to happen,” Braden said. “But mostly anxious for my present self and my future self because a charge like that on my record could shatter my chances at getting into a college when I grow up.”
Rabidoux said Braden’s school cut her out of the process and did not communicate what the allegations were about.
“I did not know exactly what had happened for three or four days,” she said. “It took three or four days for them to send me the complaint to even find out what it was he had done wrong.”
Luke Berg, deputy counsel for the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, who is representing the students called the charge a “gross misapplication of Title IX sexual harassment charges.”
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“Sexual harassment covers really egregious stuff, not simply using the so-called wrong pronoun. The school’s theory seems to be that any use of a wrong pronoun is automatically punishable speech under Title XI, and if that is truly their position, that is a truly egregious First Amendment violation. ”
A school district in Virginia is considering a rule that would suspend students for “malicious misgendering,” a Rabidoux move called “absurd.”
“This is middle school. These guys are kids, they’re learning how to interact with each other, and they’ve been taught all their lives to see a girl and use pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her.’ They do not understand using plural pronouns for one student, “she said.
“Schools should be focused on education, on math and science and social studies, and not… pronouns,” she added.
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Berg said they were asking the district to dismiss the charges and drop them from Braden’s record, and “make changes to ensure this does not happen again to other students.”
Brad Ebert, the school district’s superintendent, told ABC 2 they do not comment on student matters.
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“The [Kiel Area School District] prohibits all forms of bullying and harassment in accordance with all laws, including Title IX, and will continue to support ALL students regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, sex (including transgender status, change of sex or gender identity), or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability (“Protected Classes”) in any of its student programs and activities; this is consistent with school board policy. We do not comment on any student matters, “Ebert said.