Exeter New Hampshire student suspended for saying there are only 2 genders according to lawsuit as teen seeks to preserve his First Amendment rights along with religious beliefs.
A New Hampshire student is suing his school district after the teen was allegedly suspended from athletics for saying there are ‘only two genders.’
The Exeter High School freshman according to his suit, stated that he was suspended from a football game in September following a text conversation he had with another student off school grounds.
The lawsuit, filed Nov. 4 through an attorney with the Christian organization Cornerstone Action, mirrors the Catholic-based belief that there are only male and female genders, the Portsmouth Herald reported.
The student’s lawsuit also claims Exeter’s policy on non-binary gender identity and pronouns infringes on his First Amendment rights, with the student saying they identify as a Roman Catholic.
The policy says students have the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun of their choosing related to their gender identities and also says those who don’t recognize others’ gender identities or pronouns are violating the policy.
So how many genders are there actually?
The suing pupil, otherwise known as M.P. believes that the school district policy essentially penalizes students simply because of their religious beliefs will refuse to address non-binary students with their chosen pronouns to describe their gender identity.
The student doesn’t deny he violated the policy, the lawsuit says, according to the Herald.
‘He in fact denied, and will continue to deny, that any person can belong to a gender other than that of ‘male’ or ‘female’’ the lawsuit says.
The student, it goes on, ‘will never refer to any individual person using plural pronouns such as ‘they,’ using contrived pronouns such as ‘ze,’ or with any similar terminology that reflects values which (the student) does not share.’
The student is seeking nominal damages against New Hampshire School Administrative Unit 16 (SAU16) and Exeter High School Assistant Principal Marcy Dovholuk.
The suspension came after the student had been engaged in a conversation on the bus over gender with friends over the perceived difficulty in using plural pronouns for an individual in Spanish, which uses masculine and feminine plurals, according to the suit.
A female student overheard the discussion and allegedly told the student there were more than two genders.
Respecting how people identify
‘No there isn’t: There’s only two genders,’ the student allegedly replied.
The conversation continued in a ‘contentious’ text exchange, which was shown to him by school administrators in printed form when he was suspended, the Herald reported.
The student was pulled out of class by Dovholuk and athletic director and varsity football coach, Bill Ball.
‘Dovholuk and Ball stated that the texts showed that M.P. was ‘not respecting pronouns’ and that he needed to ‘respect how people identify,” the lawsuit alleges.
School Superintendent David Ryan told the Associated Press the school was reviewing the complaint ‘and will be able to share a statement once we have completed that review.’