Teacher Awarded $95K Lawsuit Settlement After Being Suspended For Refusing To Use Student’s Preferred Pronouns

Fort Riley Middle School has agreed to pay $95,000 in damages and attorneys fees for violating the First Amendment rights of Pamela Ricard; a math teacher at the school.

According to a release from Ricard’s attorney, she was reprimanded and suspended for calling a student by their legal and enrolled name, forcing her to conceal the student’s social transition from the student’s parents. Ricard was accused of misgendering the child on multiple occasions.  The Geary County Schools’ Diversity and Inclusion Policy requires educators to refer to students by their preferred names and pronouns.  

School administrators began issuing diversity and equity emails to teachers and staff in the spring semester of 2021, directing teachers to use preferred names in lieu of students’ legal names or the name they had listed in their enrollment records.

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