Appeals Court blocks Iowa school district rule punishing students who ignore gender pronoun preferences

News & Politics

A U.S. Appeals Court struck down a rule by a school district in Iowa that would punish students and staff who didn’t respect others’ gender pronoun preferences.

The Linn-Mar Community School District had issued the guidelines in August 2023 after the Iowa legislature passed a law requiring districts to inform parents when their child wants to use a new name or gender, as well as other transgender restrictions.

A parental rights group called Parents Defending Education had filed a lawsuit against the liberal policy positions in the district, and the court agreed on Friday.

The ruling said that the district’s policy “violates the First Amendment rights to free speech of students who do not support or agree with a gender identity change.”

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Nicole Neily, the president of the parental rights group, released a statement after the ruling.

“We are gratified that the 8th Circuit upheld the rights of families and students in Linn-Mar,” said Neily. “It is never acceptable to prohibit speech with vague terms that allow arbitrary enforcement, especially when compelled student speech is at stake, and this sends a clear message to other districts across the country with similar bullying and harassment policies on the books.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence also praised the ruling.

“Today, we applaud the Eighth Circuit’s decision, which is an important step in the fight to uphold and protect the rights of parents and families in Linn-Mar. A family is the single best unit to protect children, and we must continue to do everything we can to empower parents over bureaucrats. The strength of our nation is tied to the strength of our families, and we will not stand idly by as the Radical Left attempts to indoctrinate our children behind parents’ backs.”

Pence is running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination but has failed to garner any significant support.

Here’s more about the district’s pronoun policy:

Linn-Mar approves updated transgender student policy to comply with Iowa

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