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World News

Christian teacher suspended for refusing to refer to transgender student by preferred pronouns awarded $95,000 in lawsuit

by Alex Collett

A Christian middle school teacher who refused to refer to a transgender student by their preferred pronouns, leading to her suspension, has been awarded $95,000 (£82,482.32) in a religious freedom lawsuit.

Math teacher, Pamela Ricard, 58- years-old from For Riley Middle School in Kansas, sued the Geary County School District after she was suspended in April 2021, arguing the punishment infringed on her rights of religious freedom.

As a devout Christian, Ricard said the school's policy telling teachers to refer to students by chose gendered pronouns and names violated her religious rights

She has now settled her case, with Geary School District also agreeing to pay her attorney's fees.

Within Ricard's complaint it read: "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."

"Ms. Ricard believes that God created human beings as either male or female, that this sex is fixed in each person from the moment of conception, and that it cannot be changed, regardless of an individual person's feelings, desires, or preferences. 

"Any policy that requires Ms. Ricard to refer to a student by a gendered, non-binary, or plural pronoun (e.g., he/him, she/her, they/them, zhe/zher, etc.) or salutation (Mr., Miss, Ms.) or other gendered language that is different from the student's biological sex actively violates Ms. Ricard's religious beliefs."

The non-profit legal group Alliance Defending Freedom aided Ricard in her lawsuit and he was represented by attorneys from the Kriegshauser Ney Law Group.

Kriegshauser Ney partner Joshua Neysaid:  "This case provides straightforward lessons for Kansas school boards: Schools shouldn't lie to parents and teachers don't forfeit their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door " according to the Daily Mail.

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