Teacher wins Lawsuit-School Said to Deceive Parents about Child’s Pronouns
A retired Kansas teacher sued Geary County School district after administrators attempted to force her to deceive parents about their child’s expression of gender.
Pamela Richard, 58, argued that school administrators demanded that she and other teachers use preferred pronouns in class but not with parents.
Ricard was reprimanded and suspended for referring to a student by the female student’s legal and enrolled name. Ricard was only informed of the student’s preferred pronouns, not her preferred name, and the school had no policy regarding names. Ricard was reprimanded under the school’s anti-bullying policy. Administrators then tried to force her to hide the student’s new name and social transition from the student’s parents.
Ricard sued, arguing that the policies were against her Christian morals, both for the deception of parents outright and the mandate that she conforms to modern gender theory. Part of the suit reads, “Plaintiff further believes that referring to children with pronouns inconsistent with biological sex is harmful because it is untrue …. And Plaintiff believes that parents have a fundamental right to control the upbringing and education of their children.”
This violation of Ricards deeply held beliefs was argued to be a violation of her First Amendment rights. Once faced with the lawsuit, the school agreed to settle on Wednesday, paying out 95,000 to Ricard. Ricard’s attorneys at the Alliance Defending Freedom promptly retracted the lawsuit. ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer commented on the matter.
“No school district should ever force teachers to willfully deceive parents or engage in any speech that violates their deeply held religious beliefs,”
Ricard retired in May, and the school rescinded its policy of mandated deception. ADF Attorney Joshua Ney commented on the outcome of the case.
“Absurdity and deception has its limits, especially in federal court. I’m glad the case clarifies the financial stakes for school boards if they attempt to force teachers to lie to parents about their students.”
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