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Despite Who's Offended, Compelling Speech Violates First Amendment

I am not going to be a mouthpiece for language that I detest.

-Jordan B. Peterson

Compelling speech is a violation to the free speech principles. Governments compelling speech is a direct violation to our First Amendment right. The ACLU, an organization that has defended Westboro Baptist Church’s protests of military funerals, filed a brief telling the courts that “refusing to use a student’s pronouns because of who they are is discrimination.”

Loudoun County has a policy that requires educators to use their students' preferred pronouns instead of their pronouns assigned biologically at birth. Byron Cross, a physical education teacher at Leesburg Elementary was placed on administrative leave in May because he refused to use a student’s preferred pronoun. Cross, who spoke openly about his beliefs during a school board meeting, said that he, “will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa.” Despite his religious beliefs preventing him from using his students’ preferred pronouns, he went on to tell the board, “I love all of my student, but I will never lie to them regardless of consequence.” Cross was later reinstated pending his current lawsuit.

While the school’s policy doesn’t penalize “accidental slips,” intentional misuse of a student’s pronoun is in violation and may result in termination. The same policy allows students to use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity. On May 28, a 15-year-old girl alleges that a “boy wearing a skirt” entered the girls' restroom and raped her. The boy was permitted to enter the restroom because he told officials that he identified as a girl. The police revealed that the same suspect was arrested Oct. 6 at Broad Run High School for a similar incident. Despite the first incident, Stone Bridge High School Superintendent Scott Ziegler told parents at a school board meeting that there are no records of “assaults occurring in our restrooms.” Why was a rape suspect permitted back into another high school full of children?

Notice how mainstream media refuses to use the suspects preferred pronouns?

Whether the policy is flawed or if the suspect in question is an outlier is still up for debate. This policy, however, is an example of how governments are responding to popular demand absent honest, constructive conversations. There are still many people who don’t understand the transgender community, and it has become taboo to ask questions. Everyone is being expected to drop what they previously believed by government mandate, and that’s simply not how humans operate.

We can’t keep living in fear of offending others. People are naturally offended; it’s human nature. The world is not a safe space and will never be fair. While these may be desirable characteristics to some, they’re unachievable. A student being misgendered is going to be offended. An educator being compelled to affirm beliefs they don’t hold is going to be offended. Why are we more afraid to offend the student than the educator? Can’t both coexist in a country that demands diversity?

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