No free speech allowed at Exeter High School in New Hampshire.
Photo: Austin Blake Grant
They’re coming for you next: A freshman student from Exeter High School in New Hampshire is suing his school district and assistant principal for suspending him from one football game because he had stated his Catholic belief that there are only two genders in a text message exchange with another student.
The boy’s name is at this point being withheld, with the lawsuit being handled by his attorney, Ian Huyett of Cornerstone Action, a Christian advocacy group focused on New Hampshire issues.
The lawsuit alleges the student received a one-game suspension in September in violation of his constitutional right to free speech and the New Hampshire Bill of Rights because he expressed what the suit called his Catholic belief there are “only two genders,” male and female.
Cornerstone is seeking nominal damages against SAU 16 and EHS Assistant Principal Marcy Dovholuk. The lawsuit also aims to prohibit the school district from enforcing its policy pertaining to gender-nonconforming students. The school district policy, Cornerstone claims, penalizes students who, because of their religious beliefs, refuse to address non-binary students with their chosen pronouns to describe their gender identity.
“(The student) does not deny that he violated the Gender Nonconforming Students policy,” the lawsuit states. “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 student) 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.”
Under the high school’s policy, a “student has the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity.” It also contains a provision that states, “the intentional or persistent refusal to respect a student’s gender identity … is a violation of this policy.” [emphasis mine]
As indicated by highlighted sentence, the school’s policy is a clear violation of this student’s first amendment rights, as stated not only in the U.S. Bill of Rights but also in New Hampshire’s Bill of Rights. It demands he speak in only one manner, and punishes him if he dissents.
What makes the school’s thuggish punishment even more oppressive is that the student was punished for something he said in a text during an off-campus conversation initiated by another student. He wasn’t even at school, and yet the school now demands the right to police his speech twenty-four hours, seven days a week.
The real tragedy of this story is how common it has become. The left, which dominates government and educational bureaucracies everywhere, is not interested in a free and open debate. You will obey them mindlessly, and if you dare to disagree, they will move immediately to squash you like a bug.
We are in terrible times. To fight this tyranny is going to require more people to have the courage of this student. He is standing up for his right to say what he believes, and is willing to fight hard for that right, no matter the consequences.
And just because you yourself haven’t been attacked yet doesn’t mean you can ignore this battle. These thugs will soon be at your door, demanding you bow to them for any reason they can make up. The only real choice you have is to fight them now, when the battle is easier, or later, when your options will be even more constrained.
You don’t have the choice not to fight, even if you are leftist in your beliefs. It isn’t really politics that drive this oppression, but the lust for power. Such lust cares not one iota for any philosophy or political ideas, no matter which side. They are coming for conservatives, Republicans, and Christians now. Soon, they will come for leftists, Democrats, and the atheists, should any of those decide at any point to challenge their power.
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