FORT RILEY, Kansas (LifeSiteNews) – A math teacher in Kansas is taking Fort Riley Middle School to court for punishing her because she referred to a gender-dysphoric student by her actual sex despite the lack of an official school policy on “gender identity” designations at the time.
The Daily Caller reported that Pamela Ricard alleges that in April 2021 she received a three-day suspension and formal reprimand for referring to a biologically-female student who identified as male with the prefix “Ms.” despite the student never formally requesting to be addressed differently. The school claimed that Ricard had violated its prohibitions on “bullying by staff,” but did not have a specific policy on students’ preferred names or pronouns at the time.
After the incident, the school distributed staff training documents on Gender Identity and Gender Expression,” complete with guidance on “Use of Preferred Names and Pronouns.” In response, Ricard requested a religious accommodation “regarding any school policy that requires a teacher or school employee to actively state or otherwise use a student’s or any other person’s preferred pronouns or other gendered language when different from the student’s or person’s biological sex,” on the grounds that addressing students “by a gendered, non-binary, or plural pronoun” would violate her Christian faith.
Last September, the local school board unanimously rejected both of her religious accommodation request and her attempt to appeal her earlier punishment. A month later, the school formalized its new policy that students “will be called by their preferred name and pronouns. This means if a student makes a request of a staff member to call them by a name other than their legal name as noted in the student information system – Skyward, the staff member(s) will respect the student’s wishes and refer to them with the indicated preferred name.”
The school and school district “now threaten to punish Ms. Ricard again if she continues to refrain from using a student’s preferred pronouns, express her views through silence or neutral language, or even engage in a neutral policy of referring to students by their enrolled last names or with other gender-neutral language,” reads the complaint, The Lion reported.
“Ms. Ricard believes that, because of the difficulty of assessing matters of gender identity and the long-term irreversible consequences of certain treatments for transgender-identifying people, including puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and sex-reassignment surgery, children should not be encouraged to undertake social or medical transition because of their inability to assess long-term consequences,” the complaint adds. Further, “parents have a fundamental right to control the upbringing and education of their children,” and that “any gender-identity education policy must account for this fundamental right.”
Represented by Kriegshauser Ney Law Group, Ricard contends that education officials have violated her constitutional rights to free speech, religious expression, due process, and equal protection. She and her attorneys are seeking a declaratory judgment affirming that assessment, injunctions against further infringement on those rights, and removal of the matter from her disciplinary record, as well as monetary damages and attorneys’ fees.
According to modern biology, sex is rooted in an individual’s chromosomes and reflected by hundreds of genetic characteristics. In addition to denying scientific reality, coercing individuals to recognize an individual’s gender dysphoria as “gender identity” coerces Christians and Jews to contradict Genesis 1:27, which teaches that God created both sexes in His image.
A range of scientific literature indicates that youth gender confusion usually resolves on its own by adulthood, and indulging it often fails to prevent – or even prolongs – significant mental and emotional harm up to and including attempted suicide (with or without surgery), because fixating on “gender affirmation” tends to distract from exploring other issues that may be the actual root of a patient’s mental or emotional unrest.