In May, a sixth grade Cincinnati-area student identified as “John Doe” was disciplined by his assistant principal for referring to another male student as “he” and for saying, “He is a boy, not a girl.” The gender issue was raised because John Doe’s friend is a boy who now identifies as a girl.
Teachers and administrators had been referring to the student as a girl, and according to Liberty Counsel, told the child’s classmates that the boy “‘is a girl” and that the students had to call him by female pronouns and consider him “female.”
Following a discussion in art class where female students were talking about the boy “taking girl hormones” and having surgery that would turn him into a girl, John Doe responded by claiming they were mistaken.
Doe believes that gender is assigned at birth and that hormones and surgery would not change that. Professing his beliefs out loud resulted in a trip to the assistant principal’s office where Doe was told, “You can have your own beliefs, but Boy A wants to be called a girl.” Student Doe was also informed there could be “consequences” for his words.
John Doe’s parents called Liberty Counsel (LC) after receiving a call from the assistant principal. They investigated the situation, then LC requested the following from the school:
- the district confirm removal of any record of discipline from John’s Doe’s record;
- confirm that no student would be punished for expressing respectful disagreement on the subject of “transgender” claims by other students; and
- no student would be punished or subjected to official coercion for using pronouns consistent with sex
Liberty Counsel’s press release on August 6 explained the story and the school’s positive response to their requests, including confirmation that students would not be punished for “expressing respectful disagreement on the subject of ‘transgender’ claims by other students.”
“The Board of Education does not discipline students for expressing respectful disagreement on any topic,” the school’s attorney said.
When asked if Liberty Counsel would share the name of the school district, Richard Mast, litigation counsel, told The Ohio Star, “We can’t do that, unfortunately, because of the transactivists a) targeting our client’s family and b) potentially having negative fallout effects for the boy who thinks he’s a girl.”
“Because of the past history, as we’ve seen with the Drag Queen 101 situation in Delaware at the Delaware Library and other instances around the country that they engage in with people who oppose them. Once they get on a campaign they can be very creative in how they harass families…some we’ve even seen have made suggestions that people call child protective services on mothers who disagree with them, their political positions,” Mast elaborated.
As Ohio students are returning to their public schools this week, Liberty Counsel recommends Ohio parents look at their school’s non-discrimination policies and see if there are specific protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. If there are, it could indicate an inclination to teach transgenderism to the students. LC also encourages parents to have conversations with their kids.
“Help establish their worldview before the other side is able to do that,” Mast said.
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