KIEL, Wis. (WFRV) – A Wisconsin-based law firm is asking the Kiel Area School District to drop the complaints against three eighth-grade students who are accused of calling a classmate by the wrong pronouns.

According to the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), three eighth-grade students in the Kiel Area School District were made aware of a Title IX complaint. The students were also notified of a sexual harassment investigation regarding the alleged use of the wrong pronoun when referring to another student. WILL’s letter says the investigation is ongoing.

Title IX is a federal law that protects people from sexual discrimination in education programs or activities that receive federal funding. More information on the details of Title IX can be found here.

The students reportedly didn’t use “they/them” and instead said a different pronoun to the classmate.

WILL claims that using ‘biologically correct pronouns’ doesn’t constitute sexual harassment under Title IX or the district’s own policy.

The letter is addressed to the following three people at Kiel Area School District:

  • Kiel Area School District’s Superintendent
  • Counselor and Title IX Compliance Officer
  • Principal and Title IX Investigator

In the letter, it is claimed that the district failed to follow Title IX procedures and its own process.

The families reportedly asked for more information and were eventually given a one-page Title IX complaint and a statement from a music teacher.

All of this leaves the impression that the District is weaponizing its Title IX process to strong-arm minor students into compliance with its preferred mode of speech. This is wrong and illegal.

Statement from the WILL’s letter sent to Kiel Area School District.

“School administrators can’t force minor students to comply with their preferred mode of speaking. And they certainly shouldn’t be slapping eighth-graders with Title IX investigations for what amounts to protected speech. This is a terrible precedent to set, with enormous ramifications,” said WILL Deputy Counsel, Luke Berg.

Kiel Area School District District provided the following statement to Local 5:

The KASD prohibits all forms of bullying and harassment in accordance with all laws, including Title IX, and will continue to support ALL students regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, sex (including transgender status, change of sex or gender identity), or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability (“Protected Classes”) in any of its student programs and activities; this is consistent with school board policy. 

We do not comment on any student matters.  

Kiel Area School District

On WILL’s website, it mentions that they ‘litigate, educate and participate in public discourse.’ WILL’s General Counsel, Rick Esenberg, has reportedly argued more cases in the Wisconsin Supreme Court than any other private lawyer in the state.

The full letter sent by WILL can be viewed here.