A teenager has been accused of sexual assault by a Wisconsin school after refusing to refer to a non-binary classmate as “her or her” because of his “first amendment rights.”
A 13-year-old teenager who refused to refer to a non-binary classmate as “her” or “they” says he fears he will never go to college amid allegations of sexual assault.
Wisconsin middle school student Braden Rabidoux was landed with the complaint after referring to the student as “she.”
Braden, along with two other classmates, were reportedly scolded by their classmate for not respecting their pronouns.
In an interview with Fox News, the terrified teenager said the allegation made him scared and upset.
He said: “I was worried and scared and upset because I didn’t know what was going to happen.
“But mostly concerned for my present self and future self because such a charge on my record could destroy my chances of getting into college when I grow up.”
Braden has said it was his “first amendment right” to refuse to use the person’s pronouns, and his family lawyers are now fighting the charges, the Mail reports.
Luke Berg of the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty argued that the charges didn’t fit with what Braden was doing.
He said: “Sexual harassment encompasses really egregious things, not just using the so-called wrong pronoun.
“The school’s theory seems to be that any use of an incorrect pronoun is automatically criminal offense under Title XI speech, and if that is indeed their position, that is a truly egregious violation of the First Amendment.”
Braden’s mother, Rosemary Rabidoux, has also dropped out of school and described her shock at the allegations.
She said, “This is middle school. These guys are kids, they’re learning how to get along, and they’ve been taught all their lives to see a girl and use the pronouns “she” and “your.” You don’t understand how to use plural pronouns for a student
“Schools should focus on education, on math, science and social studies and not on … pronouns.
“I think sexual harassment? This is rape, this is inappropriate touch, this is incest. What did my son do?
“He is allegedly facing sexual harassment charges for not using proper pronouns. I thought it wasn’t real! I thought this must be a gag, a joke – one has nothing to do with the other.”
The Kiel School District has declined to comment on the incident, but stressed that district officials “continue to support ALL students regardless of gender (including transgender status, gender change, or gender identity).”
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