Tennessee School Faces Civil Rights Complaint for ‘Dead Naming’ Transgender Student

A Tennessee school district is facing a civil rights complaint after a transgender student alleged she was not allowed to use the bathroom of her choice.

Max Wieland also alleges in an exclusive interview with Fox 13 Memphis that she was “dead named” by school leaders at Arlington High School.

“Dead naming” is a term used by the transgender community to refer to the birth name of a person instead of their preferred name.

Just to be clear, the Todd Starnes Show’s policy is to always follow the science — as well as the individual’s God-given plumbing. Wieland was born a biological female, therefore we will refer to her with the proper pronouns.

Max, who uses the preferred pronouns “it, they and he,” told the television station she got triggered when she discovered that her birth name had been included on a public list saluting her academic achievements.

“So, I was walking down from the cafeteria and I saw the posters and I got super excited so I stopped like with my partner looking for our names and everything and then I see it and it’s my dead name,” she told Fox 13.

The 17-year-old accused Arlington Community Schools of discrimination.


“The complaint alleges the district discriminated against Max by not stopping instances of harassment against him. It also alleges the school failed to honor Max’s preferred name and would not let him use the restroom of the sex in which he identifies,” the television station reports.

The teenager said she fears the school will use her birth name during next year’s graduation ceremony which is why she filed the complaint.

KWAM listeners, the leading news radio station in Memphis, defended the school and raised questions about the parents of the child.

“I stand with science,” one KWAM listener said. “The human being is a girl.”

“The parents who are encouraging/defending this girl in her fantasy have no right to demand anything from the school district,” another KWAM listener wrote. “There is a law in place that a student is to be addressed by name on birth certificate and recognized by gender on birth certificate. If she and her parents want to refer to her as Max and pretend she is a boy, that’s their business. But the school does not have to go along with it.”

“Be whoever you choose to be, but if you are the opposite sex do not go in the bathroom with my children. You can identify as whatever you want, but science states what you are by your private parts,” another wrote. “And if your name isn’t Max on your bc, then that’s not your name. This is the most ridiculous thing ever, and can’t believe it’s news worthy.”

Arlington Community Schools has not commented, but they should be commended for addressing the matter with a healthy dose of common sense.

‘If they don’t call my name as ‘Max’ then it’s just not me (sigh) … sorry,” the child said.

However, the school district is simply complying with state law.

Tennessee requires schools to refer to students by the names listed on their official birth certificates. And students may only use bathrooms based upon the gender listed on their birth certificates.

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