Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, the Executive Director of GLSEN who uses she, her, hers/they, them, theirs pronouns, sent a message today to let LGBTQ+ teachers and students know about their rights in school, offering assurance that GLSEN stands "in solidarity" with them.
This includes the "right" to be called by the "names, pronouns and titles that match who you are in every aspect of the school day."
GLSEN even claims that schools are responsible for stopping "misgendering" by calling it "harassment" and encourages educators and students who have been victims of misgendering or other forms of harassment to report these incidents, and even to take legal action by filing a federal, state or local civil rights complaint.
Of course, not everyone agrees on whether people should be forcibly compelled to use made-up pronouns which may require learning how to speak using confusing, incorrect grammar.
This issue is being put to the test in Michigan right now, after a bill recently passed by the Democrat-led State House which would make it a felony for people to intimidate or threaten others by disrespecting their gender identity by deliberately misgendering them. Under the bill, offenders would be guilty "of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $10,000."
Detractors say the controversial law violates the First Amendment because it compels speech.
Indeed, recent cases on "misgendering" have ruled that misgendering is in fact protected under free speech. This includes a Vermont case about a coach who misgendered an athlete, a case about a Kansas middle school teacher who misgendered a student, and the case of a Christian professor at Shawnee State University who was reprimanded for refusing to refer to a trans student as a woman.
But this isn't stopping from GLSEN from wanting schools to assume the role of "pronoun" police!