Teacher suspended for refusing to use student’s preferred pronouns wins award

Pamela Ricard, a Kansas teacher, gained notoriety recently when she filed a lawsuit against Geary County Schools, her school district, for imposing a three-day suspension on her for refusing to use a student’s preferred pronouns.

Through the New York Post, Ricard provided an explanation of the incident, stating that she had been reprimanded “for addressing a biologically female student by the student’s legal and enrolled last name.”

Despite being biologically female, a kid at Fort Riley Middle School requested to be addressed by a different first name and the pronouns “he” or “him,” Ricard, a teacher there, discovered from the school counselor.

Regards: Getty,

As a compromise, Ricard decided not to use the student’s new preferred first name and instead addressed her as “Miss [legal/enrolled last name]” because of her religious convictions.

As stated in the lawsuit, Ricard was subject to suspension and punishment under general school district regulations concerning staff bullying, even though no specific policy addressed this situation. Following her return from suspension, a new policy was implemented mandating that teachers use the pronouns that students have requested.

In her case, Ricard claimed that this restriction violated her conscience because her Christian convictions were in line with conventional wisdom regarding gender and human nature. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Ricard holds that “sex is fixed in each person from the moment of conception and that it cannot be changed, regardless of an individual person’s feelings, desires, or preferences” and that “God created human beings as either male or female.”

Ricard was ultimately given a $95,000 award after federal court processes, as reported by CBS News. Her lawyers stressed that she could continue to avoid using pronouns that were inconsistent with the biological sex of the students and that she may speak with parents in a way that was consistent with her beliefs.

Getty is credited.

A further element of the new policy that was overturned by the court prohibited workers from telling parents their children’s preferred names and pronouns.

Since the school system has declined to comment, it is unclear how the existing policies stand.

This settlement simply serves to emphasize how difficult it is to manage issues relating to gender identity and religious freedom. It also raises concerns about how to strike a balance between honoring educators’ religious convictions and accommodating students’ preferences.

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