A Wisconsin school district has filed sexual harassment complaints against three middle schoolers for calling a classmate by a wrong pronoun.
The school district in Kiel, a city of 3,600 residents, has charged the three eighth-graders at the Kiel Middle School with sexual harassment after an incident in April in which the students refused to use “they” to refer to a classmate who had switched pronouns a month before the alleged incident, according to reports.
“I received a phone call from the principal …forewarning me, letting me know that I was going to be receiving an email with sexual harassment against my son,” said Rosemary Rabidoux, whose 13-year-old son Braden is one of the students charged with sexual harassment.
“I immediately went into shock,” she continued in an interview with FOX 11. “I’m thinking sexual harassment? That’s rape, that’s inappropriate touching, that’s incest. What has my son done?”
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is defending the accused students, and claims that misuse of pronouns is not covered by Title IX, the US Education Department’s statute that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education.
“Title IX sexual harassment typically covers things like rape, dating violence, quid pro quo sexual favors — really egregious stuff,” WILL’s deputy counsel Luke Berg told the network. “There’s nothing even remotely close to that alleged in this case.”