New Hampshire High School Student Sues School District After Being Suspended For Saying There’s Only Two Genders

A New Hampshire student is suing his school district after reportedly being suspended from athletics for claiming that there are “only two genders.” According to the suit, the Exeter High School freshman received a one-game football suspension in September due to a conversation he had with another student off-campus.

The student was suspended after a discussion on the bus about gender and the apparent difficulties of using plural pronouns for a person in Spanish, which utilizes masculine and feminine plurals. Overhearing the conversation, a female student allegedly told him that there were more than two genders. He replied, “No, there isn’t: There’s only two genders.”

The discussion reportedly continued in a “contentious” text exchange, which was printed and shown to him by school officials when he was suspended.

According to the Portsmouth Herald, a complaint was filed in Rockingham Superior Court on November 4 by Ian Huyett with the Christian organization Cornerstone Action. It contends that the student articulated a Catholic-based conviction that there are only male and female genders.

The suit also claims the school’s policy on non-binary gender identification and pronouns infringes on the teen’s First Amendment rights.

The policy states, students have the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun of their choice that aligns with their gender identity. Individuals who don’t recognize others’ gender identities or pronouns have violated the policy.

In the suit, the student admits he broke the policy. It 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.”

The lawsuit seeks minimal damages from the school system and EHS Assistant Principal Marcy Dovholuk. It also hopes to keep the district from implementing its gender-nonconforming language policy. Lawyers for the student contend that the policy penalizes kids who refuse to recognize non-binary identification due to religious beliefs.

Additionally, the suit says the school’s policy violates the New Hampshire Bill of Rights and that EHS authorities lacked the power to discipline him because the suspension was based on text messages in an off-campus conversation initiated by another student.

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