Marissa Darlingh at the April 23rd rally: Her free speech forbidden by Wisconsin
They’re coming for you next: A Wisconsin teacher, Marissa Darlingh, has been threatened with loss of her teaching license by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) for speaking publicly — on her own time and as a private citizen — at a feminist rally on April 23, 2022 against the modern queer movement to introduce perverse sex instruction into elementary schools.
During that rally, Ms. Darlingh publicly expressed that she “oppose[s] gender ideology” in elementary schools and that young children should not be “exposed to the harms of gender identity ideology” or given “unfettered access to hormones—wrong-sex hormones—and surgery.” She argued passionately that she “exist[s] in this world to serve children” and “to protect children,” and does not support social or medical transition of young children. In the passion of the moment, Ms. Darlingh at one point said “[expleteive] transgenderism,” referring to the “gender identity ideology” that she believes harms children.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) issued Ms. Darlingh a letter on April 29, informing her that the agency opened an investigation to determine whether to revoke her educator license for “immoral conduct” at the April rally. The letter cites Darlingh’s use of profane language as well as her statements “oppos[ing] gender identity ideology from entering [her] school building” and her statements that she “do[es] not believe children should have access to hormones or surgery” as examples of her “immoral conduct.”
You can view the DPI letter here [pdf]. In threatening to take away Darlingh’s right to teach, it also gave her the option to end the public investigation if she would simply “surrender her license.” To do so DPI kindly included an agreement for her to sign.
In other words, “You sure have a nice looking resume. It sure would be a shame if something happened to ruin it.”
Darlingh not only did not surrender her license, she enlisted legal help from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), which immediately sent a letter to DPI [pdf] telling it to back off or face a lawsuit for violating Darlingh’s first amendment rights. The letter also took the offensive, closing with this demand:
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