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Kiel School District ends Title IX investigation amid ongoing threats

Kiel Area School District, May 31, 2022. (WLUK/Jessie Basinski)
Kiel Area School District, May 31, 2022. (WLUK/Jessie Basinski)
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KIEL (WLUK) -- The school board for the Kiel Area School District says it's ending the Title IX investigation into three middle school students who allegedly used the non-preferred pronoun when referring to another student.

In a letter sent to parents, the board said, "We have issued clear directives and expectations to all students involved in this matter for the purpose of preventing bullying and harassment and ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment for all of our students. Based on these actions, and pursuant to District policies and procedures, the School District considers this matter closed."

Luke Berg at Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, the organization defending the accused students in the Title IX investigation, issued the following statement:

We are pleased that the Kiel Area School District has finally ended its misguided Title IX investigation. While the District’s statement attempts to reframe the investigation, it was always primarily about “mispronouning.” The District may not be willing to admit it publicly, but it has recognized that it has no legal basis to demand that our clients refrain from “mispronouning” other students.

The group adds it intends to follow up with the school district to ensure that the Title IX sexual harassment complaints are removed from the accused students’ academic records.

Kiel has received threats for nearly two weeks. More recently, police warned one threat stated that if the school district did not drop its investigation by Friday, the entire city would be targeted.

Kiel police said the city's emergency management team met several times on Thursday and developed a plan to address the threats.

While the Title IX investigation has been dropped, police say they continue to work with DCI and the FBI to track down the source of the previous threats and continue other investigations related to threats made to school staff members.

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