This Kansas teacher is suing her school so that she can continue to misgender students

Apparently calling someone by their name is against her religion.


Last week, a public school teacher in Kansas filed a lawsuit against her district superintendent, board members, and school principal for violating her First Amendment rights to free speech and exercising her religion after she was suspended for misgendering a trans student in her math class. Pamela Ricard, who teaches at Fort Riley Middle School in Fort Riley, maintains that her school’s denial of her request to ignore her student’s name and pronouns "deprived her of due process and equal protection of law,” CNN reported. Basically, this transphobic teacher is saying that respecting her students’ gender identities is against her religion.

In April 2021, Ricard was suspended for three days after she refused to address a student by his pronouns and instead referred to him as, “Miss,” according to AP News. The school didn’t have an existing policy on pronouns, but found her behavior to be a violation of the school’s bullying and diversity policies.

Luckily, the school saw that a pronoun-specific policy was necessary after Ricard’s disrespectful address. A week after Ricard’s suspension, the school’s principal reportedly disseminated guidelines for teachers requiring them to use every student’s preferred name and pronouns. Ricard argued that she believed that addressing the student by “Miss,” followed by his legal last name, respected the student and didn’t violate her own religious convictions, AP reported. I’m not sure how this behavior is respectful of the rule that a student should be called by their preferred name, but Ricard appealed the policy three times on the grounds that it violated her religious freedom.

In September, the school board officially passed the guidelines and voted to deny Ricard’s request for a religious accommodation, AP reported. According to Ricard’s lawsuit filing, the school district is threatening to discipline her if she refuses to comply with the district’s pronoun policy. Sidenote that that doesn’t really sound like a threat so much as a natural consequence of breaking an employer’s stated policies, but okay.

“Our suit contends that schools cannot force teachers to promote novel views about gender fluidity and ever-expanding pronoun categories without regard to the First Amendment or due process,” Josh Ney, one of Ricard’s lawyers, told AP News. The lawsuit claims that because Ricard believes that God determines gender assignment at conception, using trans or gender non-specific terms of address is against her religion.

“The stigma of being officially labeled a 'bully' simply for using a student's enrolled last name has been disheartening," Ricard told CNN. Wow. For me, this case perfectly exemplifies the noxious cocktail of bigotry, privileged gaslighting, and legal perversion that define ‘Murica. Fingers crossed the justice system sees through this insidious attempt to make one person’s hateful behavior defensible using the rubric of religion.