The classmate had, a few months prior, started using “hulle / hulle” for pronouns.
We used to understand that teenagers, and pre-teens, were impulsive and prone to poor decision-making. We don’t let middle schoolers drive, stem, smoke, or get tattoos. But suddenly changing their gender identity, or even changing absolutely nothing but forcing everyone around them to conform to new pronouns anyway, is acceptable, tolerated and, worst of all, compulsory for everyone.
If the child wants to change back the very next day, and go back to “haar,” her pre-teen classmates better be with the program, or they can find themselves under this kind of sexual harassment investigation.
The term “crybullying” had been previously applied to adults who play the victim while intimidating others. Now we’re allowing children to get into the game. Allowing children to force other children to use certain words should be unacceptable in schools.
The boys’ attorney believes it’s a violation of the First Amendment rights. And what does using the wrong pronoun have to do with sexual harassment anyway? “It’s not sexual harassment under Title IX, under their own policy, onder federale wetgewing, and it’s probably a First Amendment violation. Almost certainly, if that’s their theory, that solely using the wrong pronoun, that that would be a First Amendment violation,” said Luke Berg, the boys’ lawyer.
We can’t give teenagers a new way to hurt each other. We remember being teenagers, reg?
Thinking back to my own small high school, we would have all been investigated for crimes against each other. We made fun of each other for all kinds of reasons. We were stupid kids saying stupid things, thankfully in the era before the internet and the inevitable crybullies. Nearly all of us are still friends today.
If I were a teen today, I would absolutely use they/them as my pronouns. The more outlandish the better. I would force my teachers and the other students to refer to me in plural. I recently heard about a new pronoun, “tree.” That would be me, switching to the latest pronoun. “Where did Karol go?” “They went to the bathroom.” “Ahem, they go by ‘tree’ now, be more respectful.”
Because why not? Why not harness the power adults are giving me to make people around me bend to my will? Movies are frequently produced about the meanness of teens. Watch ‘Heathers.’ Watch, ahem, ‘Mean Girls.’ And to get to be a victim too? It would have been icing on the cake.
The teenage brain is still forming and the hormone-induced mood swings make them terrifying. We know this. And yet adults are arming them with life-destroying powers.
The boys in Kiel deserve better. We all do. Parents need to fight back and stop this madness.