Kansas teacher sues district over preferred pronouns policy

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 7:27 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW/AP) - A Kansas middle school teacher who was disciplined for refusing to use a student’s preferred first name and gender pronouns is suing the school district.

Fort Riley Middle School math teacher Pamela Ricard said in a federal lawsuit filed Monday that the Geary County School District violated her constitutional rights and did not accommodate her Christian beliefs when it suspended her for three days.

Attorney Mark Edwards said the district would have no comment on the lawsuit. The school is located on Fort Riley.

Ricard, who has taught at the school since 2005, was reprimanded and suspended in April 2021 for addressing a student as “miss” to avoid using the student’s preferred first name after Picard was told that the student used he/him pronouns.

Ricard believed addressing the student as “Miss (legal/enrolled last name)” respected the student while also upholding Ricard’s religious convictions, according to the lawsuit.

A school counselor had told Ricard the student preferred a first name different from his legal and enrolled name. The student had never told Ricard of the preference, but a classmate told Ricard the student preferred he/him pronouns, according to the lawsuit, filed by Kriegshauser Ney Law Group.

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