Milwaukee school counselor under investigation for opposition to transgender ideology
State agency says investigation will “determine if there is probable cause to support allegations of immoral conduct.”
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An elementary school counselor from Milwaukee is refusing to resign or change her mind about gender identity, even after the state opened an investigation that could cost her her job.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction sent Marissa Darlingh a letter on April 29, explaining that she was under investigation for what she said at a rally in Madison just six days before.
“DPI has opened an investigation to determine whether to initiate educator license revocation proceedings against you,” the letter stated. “It has been alleged that you engaged in immoral conduct.”
Darling was one of several speakers at a feminist rally in Madison on April 23 where she used a commonly expressed profanity repeatedly as she discussed transgenderism.
“I oppose gender ideology ever entering the walls of my school building,” Darling said. “Over my dead ... body will my students be exposed to the heart of gender identity ideology. Not a single one of my students under my ... watch will ever, ever transition socially, and sure as hell not medically.”
DPI’s letter said the investigation will “determine if there is probable cause to support allegations of immoral conduct.”
DPI gave Darlingh the option to resign ahead of the investigation, but Darlingh opted instead to fight.
On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty sent a letter to DPI that promises a lawsuit if the state tries to suspend Darlingh’s license because of her opposition to transgenderism or her use of profanity.
“The state is, quite simply, trying to punish a public-school counselor for her views on gender ideology. This is a classic, clear-cut, violation of the First Amendment and the state can expect a federal lawsuit if it proceeds,” WILL’s Luke Berg said.
Darling said she will not back down, and will not change her mind about transgenderism even after the investigation is complete.
“My views on the harms of gender ideology to children are informed by a desire to serve and protect children,” Darling said in a statement. “That’s why I got into education. I will love and serve every child under my care, no matter what. But I won’t recant under threat from the state.”