Christian teacher who misgendered trans student wins $95,000 compensation
A Christian school teacher who was suspended after misgendering a trans student has been awarded $95,000 in compensation.
Pamela Ricard sued the Geary County School District for a First Amendment violation after she was suspended for three days in April 2021.
Ricard, 58, worked at Fort Riley Middle School in Kansas before retiring in May this year. She was reprimanded after she referred to a student as “miss” to avoid using his preferred first name, after Picard was told the student used he/him pronouns.
She argued the punishment infringed on her rights of religious freedom, MailOnline reported.
The school is reported to have conducted diversity and equity training, and recommended staff to refer to students by their chosen names and pronouns.
Court records, reported by the MailOnline, also showed Ricard has been directed not to out the student to his parents.
But Ricard, who is described as a “devout Christian”, apparently felt such requirements violated her beliefs.
“Ms Ricard is a Christian and holds sincere religious beliefs consistent with the traditional Christian and biblical understanding of the human person and biological sex,” her complaint read.
She went on to argue that being compelled to refer to students by their chosen names or pronouns, when asked to, was a violation of her religious freedoms.
The case was settled with Geary School District earlier this week.
According to MailOnline, the settlement agreed the school would issue a statement saying Ricard had been in good standing and was without disciplinary actions against her.
Ricard was aided in her suit by Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal group which was officially designated as an anti-LGBT+ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre in 2017.
According to the SPLC’s profile, the ADF and its members have “regularly demonised LGBT people, falsely linking them to paedophilia, calling them ‘evil’ and a threat to children and society, blaming them for the ‘persecution of devout Christians’”.