Department of Education Memo Says Govt May Investigate Refusal to Use Students’ Preferred Pronouns

Photo Credit: Elias Minasi

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education recently released a memo that, while scaling back the Obama administration’s insistence that schools allow “transgender” students to use the restroom that matches their “internal sense of gender,” also advises that schools may still be investigated for failing to look into hostile situations, such as when there is a refusal to use students’ preferred names and pronouns.

The memo, written by Acting Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Candice Jackson, was released to regional directors on June 6 and outlined the latest developments surrounding the Department’s enforcement of Title IX issues.

It noted that the Departments of Education and Justice withdrew the previous administration’s guidance surrounding transgender students, and that the U.S. Supreme Court had remanded the Gloucester, Virginia case—which involved Gavin Grimm, a girl who identifies as a boy and wished to use the men’s restroom—back to the lower courts, considering that the Trump administration had withdrawn with Obama administration’s directives.

However, the memo outlined that discrimination, bullying and harassment are still prohibited and may be subject to investigation. It provided specific examples of allegations that would be subject to investigation.

Among the examples was “[f]ailure to assess whether … gender-based harassment, i.e., based on sex stereotyping, such as acts of verbal, non-verbal, or physical aggression, intimidation or hostility based on sex or sex stereotyping … of a transgender student created a hostile environment.”

It elaborated on what the Department considers to be an act of intimidation and hostility, “such as refusing to use a transgendered student’s preferred name or pronouns when the school uses preferred names for gender-conforming students, or when the refusal is motivated by animus toward people who do not conform to sex stereotypes.”

The memo also noted that “[i]t is permissible, for example, for one allegation in a complaint (such as harassment based on gender stereotypes) to go forward while another allegation (such as denial of access to restrooms based on gender identity) is dismissed.”

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Read the memo in full here.

However, public revelation of the memo’s language has concerned some pro-family groups, including the religious liberties organization Liberty Counsel.

“Title IX does not require a school district or teacher to call students by false gender pronouns,” Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said in a statement. “Title IX is silent regarding the use of pronouns, and it cannot be a violation to refer to students by pronouns consistent with their actual sex.”

“Requiring false pronoun usage by teachers is a compelled speech violation for teachers and compelling students to participate in a lie violates their right to free speech,” he continued. “I thought we had seen the last of this nonsense coming out of the Department of Education. I call upon Betsy DeVos to end this new policy.”


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  • Reason2012

    Perversion indoctrination and treating people as CRIMALS who refuse to change their worldview to conform to the perversion worldview the left is trying to force on everyone else. “Just want to be left alone” was the lie used to get them in under the radar – and now that they’re in, you see their real goals. You think this won’t get worse, using laws to force you to pledge your soul to their perversion worldview? Better stand up now before it gets worse and peaceably get these perversion activists removed from their positions of power.

    • TheKingOfRhye

      “the lie used to get them in under the radar”

      Why is it any time someone has a different opinion or stands on a different side of an issue than you, that makes them a liar, apparently? Can’t they just see things a different way, or even just be honestly wrong about something? Is that so hard to believe?

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Everyone should be identified by the birth gender. Period. Doing otherwise means the reign of falsehood. Education should be done to live out the truth.

  • RWH

    I can guarantee you that if a child comes home and tells his/her parents that a teacher singled him/her out for ridicule or scorn, or to embarrass in front of the class, that teacher will be out of there fast. Teachers are to call students by their preferred name. They are not to assign children nicknames or anything that the child does not prefer. If the teacher cannot agree with that, s/he needs to find a new job.

    • Vaughn D

      Homosexuals take very unhealthy interest in normal’s people children.

      Not hard to figure out why. Turn them against their own parents, then give “counseling” to a confused child.

      We’re not stupid.

      • RWH

        There’s some stupidity going on here, but it rests with the teacher who does not respect his/her students. If you teach at that school and imply that parents are not doing a good job by telling them that they need to deal with their confused child, I can guarantee that the parents will threaten the school with legal action if you are not removed immediately. This is the quickest way to get you fired. Secondly, it is none of your business if the kid is gay, transitioning, or whatever. Your job is to teach subject content and to treat every child with respect, whether you agree with their decisions or not. This includes addressing a child by his/her preferred name. You impose your will so that the child feels singled out or ridiculed, or you make any funny moves, and you might find yourself on the list of sexual predators for your mishandling of this child and will not be able to find any job.