EXETER, N.H. — A New Hampshire student-athlete is suing his school district after he was suspended from a football game for allegedly expressing his view that there are “only two genders.”
The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 4, said that the suspension in September was in violation of the student’s constitutional right to free speech and the New Hampshire Bill of Rights because he expressed his religious beliefs, The Portsmouth Herald reported.
The plaintiff is also aiming to prohibit enforcing Exeter High School’s gender-nonconforming student’s policy because of what he says is its infringement on his First Amendment rights.
The policy says that students have the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that relates to a student’s gender identity. It also reprimands students who intentionally and repeatedly refuse to respect another student’s gender identity.
According to the lawsuit, the suspended student had been involved in conversations surrounding Spanish language pronouns on the bus. A female student who overheard the conversation said there were more than two genders, to which the suspended student argued that there was not.
Soon after the bus incident, the lawsuit stated that the two students got into a text exchange about gender identity. Those texts were given to the administration which resulted in the one-day suspension.
But the lawsuit claims that EHS administrators did not have the right to suspend the student because his text messages, initiated by another student, were sent while off campus.
Exeter Superintendent David Ryan said he is aware of the lawsuit and the school is “in process of reviewing this complaint with legal counsel and will be able to share a statement once we have completed that review.”