Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) attorney Cory Brewer explains that three eighth grade boys have received a Title IX complaint against them for "mispronouning." She says the school district appears to be taking the position that merely using incorrect pronouns, or not using someone's preferred pronouns, is sexual harassment under Title IX.
"Our position is that that is completely inappropriate," she tells American Family News.
"We've written a letter to the district, asking them to end the Title IX investigation, drop the complaint, and remove the complaints from each of the boys' academic records," says Brewer. "Right now, we're hoping that that is all we need to do."
She adds, though, that the issue implicates First Amendment and possibly due process violations. So depending on how the school responds, litigation is a possibility.
While there have been and are cases involving faculty members throughout the country not using a student's preferred pronouns, Brewer says this is the first case involving students of which she has heard.
"They went to school with this classmate who is a biological female but asked at either the end of March of this year or the beginning of April to be referred to by the pronouns they and them," Brewer explains. "The boys, I think, initially were a little bit confused about how to use those pronouns; they're used to going to school with this individual who used to be referred to as a girl."
The attorney asserts, though, that "mispronouning" is not sexual harassment.
"It is really inappropriate for the school district to be taking this action," Brewer reiterates.
Kiel Middle School did not respond to AFN's email seeking comment.