Wisconsin school district DROPS sexual harassment probe into 3 students accused of 'MISGENDERING'
'The mere use of a biologically correct pronoun, without significantly more, does not count,' a conservative law firm appearing for the trio stated
Kiel Area School District drops the Title IX complaint against three of its eighth-grade students who were accused of sexual harassment for mispronouncing the pronouns of a student. The school issued a statement on June 2 stating that the matter is closed. "We have issued clear directives and expectations to all students involved in this matter for the purpose of preventing bullying and harassment and ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment for all of our students," Kiel School District said. "Based on these actions, and pursuant to District policies and procedures, the School District considers this matter closed."
The students subject to the Title IX inquiry were represented by a conservative legal group called the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty. "We are pleased that the Kiel Area School District has finally ended its misguided Title IX investigation," the group said. "While the District’s statement attempts to reframe the investigation, it was always primarily about ‘mispronouncing.’" "The District may not be willing to admit it publicly, but it has recognized that it has no legal basis to demand that our clients refrain from 'mispronouncing' other students," the legal group continued. "We wish they would have dismissed it right away – that could and should have happened," said an attorney with the legal group. "I don’t know why they took two weeks to dismiss it, but we’re glad they finally did." Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty also said it will ensure the inquiry is erased from the students' academic records.
The parents of the eighth graders also demanded the dismissal of the complaint against the children. Rosemary Rabidoux, whose son Braden was one of the students under investigation, said that on April 25th she received a call from Chad Ramminger, the principal of Zielanis Elementary School, who first told her that her son was being investigated and claimed that her son had been harassing the student that uses they/them pronouns.
"I received a phone call from Mr. Ramminger letting me know I was going to be receiving an email with charges against my son for sexual harassment," Rabidoux said. "I was just in shock."
The parents reached out to the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), a non-profit conservative law firm. Attorneys with the WILL issued a letter on May 12, to administrators at the Kiel Area School District urging the district to drop a Title IX complaint and investigation against three eighth grade boys who are being accused of sexual harassment for using “incorrect pronouns” when referencing a classmate. WILL Deputy Counsel, Luke Berg, said, “School administrators can’t force minor students to comply with their preferred mode of speaking. And they certainly shouldn’t be slapping eighth-graders with Title IX investigations for what amounts to protected speech. This is a terrible precedent to set, with enormous ramifications.”
Title IX typically covers things like rape, sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, inappropriate touching, and quid pro quo sexual favors. None of that—or anything even close to it was alleged in the complaint. "The mere use of a biologically correct pronoun, without significantly more, does not count, and if it did, it would violate the First Amendment. Schools of course can and should deal with teasing and bullying, but using so-called “incorrect pronouns” alone is not punishable, without more", WILL said in the statement.
The Keil Area School District mentioned in the statement that the school has been receiving many threats. "Over the last several weeks, our school district and community have been greatly impacted by media attention related to a complaint involving harassment. One major concern at this point is that threats continue, to not only the schools but the Kiel Community. We have worked hard to find a resolution", the statement read.