Saturday, April 20, 2024

Teacher Wins Prestigious Award After Standing Up for Student’s Pronoun Rights

Kansas teacher Pamela ⁣Ricard recently filed ​a⁢ lawsuit against her school district, Geary County Schools, after⁤ facing disciplinary action for refusing to ⁤use a student’s preferred pronouns. According to‌ Ricard, she was reprimanded and suspended for‌ three days​ for addressing‍ a biologically female student by their legal and enrolled last name.

Ricard, who teaches at Fort Riley Middle School, was informed by a school counselor that the student in question wanted to be called by a different⁢ first name and preferred to use ⁢he/him pronouns, despite being born female.⁢ However, ​due to her religious beliefs, Ricard chose to⁣ refer to the​ student as ⁢”Miss [legal/enrolled last name]” as⁢ a compromise.

The ⁣lawsuit states that there ⁢was no specific ‌policy in place to address this situation, ⁤but Ricard⁤ was still suspended and ⁤reprimanded under ‌generic school district policies related to staff bullying. Upon her return from suspension, a policy was put in place⁣ stating that employees must use the pronouns requested by ⁣an individual.

However, Ricard’s ⁢lawsuit ⁤argues that this policy goes against her conscience as a Christian, as she believes that God created humans as either male or female‍ and that this cannot be changed ⁢regardless of personal feelings or preferences.

In May, Ricard attended federal court and was awarded $95,000. Her ‌attorneys ⁤stated that she is now free to communicate with parents​ in a manner consistent with her religious beliefs and ⁤can continue to ⁤avoid ‌using pronouns for students⁣ who have requested ones that do not align with ⁤their ‍biological sex.

The new policy⁣ also prohibits‌ staff members from disclosing students’ preferred names and pronouns to their parents, and the court ruled against the ​district keeping this in the policy.

The district has not provided any comment on the settlement, and there have been no updates on the current policies in ⁤place.

What are your thoughts on the outcome of this case and how the school district handled it? It raises important questions about religious beliefs and the rights of students to express⁢ their ​gender identity. It also highlights the need for clear policies and guidelines in schools to address these sensitive issues.

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