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Judge rules queer teachers have a right to use their chosen pronouns...

Started by Jessica_Rose, April 10, 2024, 09:20:42 PM

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Judge rules queer teachers have a right to use their chosen pronouns in First Amendment victory

Story by John Russell (10 April 2024)

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Florida education officials must allow a transgender teacher to use she/her pronouns in school.

The teacher, Katie Wood, along with a nonbinary teacher, AV Schwandes, filed a lawsuit late last year challenging Florida's HB 1069. The law... states that "an employee or contractor of a public K-12 educational institution may not provide to a student his or her preferred personal title or pronouns if such preferred personal title or pronouns do not correspond to his or her sex."

On Tuesday, Judge Mark Walker granted Wood's request for a preliminary injunction based on her First Amendment claims, blocking the state from enforcing HB 1069 against her.

"Once again, the State of Florida has a First Amendment problem," Walker wrote in his decision. "This time, the State of Florida declares that it has the absolute authority to redefine your identity if you choose to teach in a public school. So, the question before this Court is whether the First Amendment permits the State to dictate, without limitation, how public-school teachers refer to themselves when communicating to students. The answer is a thunderous 'no.'"

"The State of Florida has not justified this grave restraint, and so the United States Constitution does not tolerate it," Walker wrote. "Ours is a Union of individuals, celebrating ourselves and singing ourselves and being ourselves without apology."

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