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Student Challenges School District's Policy Compelling Speech

Free Speech and Liberty of the press are essential to the security of Freedom in a State: they ought, therefore, to be inviolably preserved

-Article 22, New Hampshire Constitution

A student athlete at Exeter High School in New Hampshire is suing the district and his assistant principal after he alleges that he was suspended from playing in a football game for “expressing his belief that there are only two genders.” The districts policy states that, “intentionally referring to the student by a name or pronoun that does not correspond to the student’s gender identity is a violation.” The student, who identifies as a Catholic, is arguing that the policy goes against both his freedom of religion and his freedom of speech.

According to the student, gender is a biological factor determined at birth. He does not recognize non-binary gender identities as legitimate. In the lawsuit, it states that the student will continue to run afoul with the district’s policies due to his religious beliefs and his refusal to conform with the district’s compelled speech policy.

Government compelled speech is a violation to the First Amendment, plain and simple. Any public educational institute that has policies forbidding faculty and students from recognizing biological facts is a direct violation to the free speech principles. Gender as a social construct is a relatively new concept that has been gaining momentum in the past decade. However, the First Amendment protects minority speech from the masses. While many may agree that it is unkind to mis-gender somebody, those people don’t get to decide what words come out of your mouth.

A binary gender construct is not a radical view, nor is it a new idea. In fact, it would have been unheard of for students to receive punishments for not recognizing another student’s gender identity less than 20 years ago. From a young age, we learn about X and Y chromosomes in biology class and how they matter in determining the sex of a human being. Whether or not the science has changed doesn’t suggest that people are going to rapidly change their understandings of the science. Forcing people to recognize something they don’t understand is not a sign of progress, it represents tyranny.

Government elected officials understand that people’s minds aren’t changing as fast as the narrative, so they tried to speed up the process with the stroke of a pen. They designed government-compelling speech laws in a way that appears to be an additional layer of security for the transgender community. Through these laws, they are able to penalize people who do not conform to their way of thinking. You may see the benefit in that, but you’re ignoring the precedent. Right now, government is compelling your speech to recognize the gender that somebody identifies with. It won’t be long before they use these laws as blueprints to further compel our speech on different matters.

If I provided examples of possible outcomes from this dangerous precedent, I’d be labeled a conspiracy theorist, so I’ll save my breath. However, we are overpowering an institution that does not now, nor has it ever, have our best interests in mind. They do things in the name of the “greater good,” but every action appears to be a strike against our individual liberties. The world is not a safe space, and all the laws in the world are never going to change that. The world is not a fair place, and fairness cannot be dictated from the top.

We need to learn to agree to disagree. We are a melting pot of ideas that’s being forced to conform around one dictated script. It’s never going to happen. We come from all walks of life. America is filled with cultures from all around the world. Why do we need to standardize how we live and what we believe? Nobody is perfect, and nobody will ever reach perfection. Anyone who hasn’t done something that may get them “cancelled” if they were a public figure is either lying or a newborn.

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