A New Hampshire school suspended a student for stating that there are only two genders. The student has decided to sue the high school for violating his freedom of speech and religious beliefs.
A report from The Epoch Times revealed that a freshman, also a soccer player at Exeter High School, filed suit after receiving a one-game suspension “for violating the school district’s transgender student policy.” The student’s legal fees are being fully funded by Cornerstone Policy Research, a nonprofit organization founded in 2020 by New Hampshire Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Testerman.
The policy says district students are entitled to be addressed by a name and pronoun of their choice related to their gender identities and says those who fail to acknowledge those identities and pronouns are violating the rule.
The student made comments in September on a school bus and subsequently exchanged text messages with another student outside of school. He was suspended despite talking about the topic off school grounds and outside of school hours.
The student’s attorney, Ian Huyett of Cornerstone Policy Research, said his client is seeking permanent relief from the school policy under protections for free speech and religious beliefs in the state constitution.
Huyett said the student is a practicing Catholic and has a constitutional right to believe there are only two genders.
According to the New York Post, the lawsuit notes that the student “will never refer to any individual person using plural pronouns such as ‘elles’ (…) or with any similar terminology that reflects values he does not share.”
“As the U.S. Supreme Court has said, students do not check their First Amendment rights at the schoolhouse door,” the advocate said.
According to Huyett, the student who disagreed with the client’s opinion took screenshots of the text messages they exchanged and gave them to the school. The next morning, they pulled his client out of class and told him he was being undisciplined for violating the school’s gender policy. Counsel continues, [my client] “will never refer to any individual person using plural pronouns such as ‘they,’ using artificial pronouns such as ‘ze,’ or with any similar terminology that reflects values that [the student] does not share.”
Counsel expects more lawsuits to be filed on the issue because many public schools have adopted similar policies.
School superintendent David Ryan told the Associated Press that the school is reviewing the lawsuit and will make statements when the review is complete.