High school freshman sues over school district's use of nonconforming gender pronouns

The freshman athlete said he was suspended for a game "for expressing his belief that there are only two genders."


A high school student in New Hampshire is suing his school district and an assistant principal, claiming they violated his religious rights and freedom of speech because he refuses to recognize some other students' gender identities.

The school district said its policy is designed to create a safe learning environment for all students, but the lawsuit claims it does that by trampling on religious liberty.

The school policy for transgender and gender nonconforming students states, in part, that "intentionally referring to the student by a name or pronoun that does not correspond to the student's gender identity is a violation."

A freshman football player identified as MP said he was suspended for a game "for expressing his belief that there are only two genders."

MP is now suing over that suspension, saying that as a believing Catholic, he "does not recognize the legitimacy of any nonbinary gender identities" and that the district's policy and actions "compel MP to deny the historic tenets of his faith," according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit goes on to state that "MP will never refer to any individual person using plural pronouns such as 'they,' using contrived pronouns such as 'ze' and as such, MP is likely to continue run afoul of the policy and be subject to discipline."

The lawsuit also cites Article 22 of the New Hampshire Constitution, which says, "Free Speech and Liberty of the press are essential to the security of Freedom in a State: they ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved."

The student and his family declined to talk on camera.

The lawsuit is seeking nominal damages and an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the nonconforming gender policy dealing with pronouns.

School district officials said they can't comment on the lawsuit, but the district released a statement that said, in part:

"The incident was reported to the media prior to SAU 16 receiving the complaint, and what was reported was inaccurate and incomplete. It is our belief that once all of the facts are reviewed as part of the legal process, it will be clear that no rights were violated."