Student expresses religious belief, gets suspended, now suing school

By Bob Unruh

Navy Lt. Raymond Matelli kisses his wife after returning from deployment to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, Oct. 6, 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Mitchell Austin)

A student at a New Hampshire school stated his religious belief – and was suspended from a football game for it.

Now he’s suing the school.

Fox News reports the student-athlete from Exeter High School has filed a legal action in Rockingham Superior Court.

It alleges that he was suspended, in September, in violation of his constitutional right to free speech and the New Hampshire Bill of Rights “because he expressed his religious beliefs.”

At issue is the school’s policy on gender-nonconforming students. That states that all of its “programs, activities, and employment practices” must be free from discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

According to a report from the Daily Mail, the student expressed his view that there are “only two genders.”

The report documented, “The freshman student – only identified as M.P. in court documents – was discussing the difficulty of addressing a non-binary person in Spanish with his friends on the school bus when another student interjected to argue when M.P. replied, ‘There’s only two genders.'”

The discussion then continued in text messages, which were turned in to school officials who suspended him for “not respecting” pronouns.

But his statement simply expressed the plaintiffs beliefs in his Catholic faith, the report said.

The fight is a common one these days, where LGBT activists are demanding that all others in their community not only agree with their agenda, but actively support it. Numerous professors are fighting for the right to use the scientifically accurate terms like “he” and “she” for males and female students.

Transgender activists, however, want them all punished if they fail to refer to a male who presents himself as female as “she.”

The Daily Mail said, “The student is seeking nominal damages against what the lawsuit defines as New Hampshire School Administrative Unit 16 (SAU16) – a New Hampshire school district that includes Exeter High School in Exeter, Rockingham County – and Exeter High School Assistant Principal Marcy Dovholuk.”

Such mandates for specific language, the new case charges, is an infringement of the First Amendment.

The plaintiff believes “the school district policy essentially penalizes students for their religious beliefs when they refuse to address non-binary students with their chosen pronouns to describe their gender identity,” the report said.

“The student does not deny that he violated the Gender Nonconforming Students policy. 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 legal action states.

The high school adopted a practice in 2016 that students have the right to be addressed “by a name and pronoun” that they choose.

But it also punishes those who decline to bend their own language practices to accommodate others’ wishes.

Supt. David Ryan said officials are reviewing the issue.

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