A retired, Kansas teacher won $95k in a lawsuit after her school attempted to force her to lie to parents about student’s preferred pronouns, per a Fox News report.
Officials at Fort Riley Middle School reprimanded Pam Ricard in 2021 for not using a student’s desired pronouns in class, yet they demanded she use the student’s real name and pronouns during parent teacher conferences to conceal the student’s gender identity.
Ricard, 58, sued the Geary County School District claiming deceiving parents about their own children went against her deeply held religious beliefs.
On Wednesday, the school district settled. Subsequently, Ricard and her legal counsel, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), withdrew the case.
“No school district should ever force teachers to willfully deceive parents or engage in any speech that violates their deeply held religious beliefs,” ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer told Fox.
He continued, “We’re pleased to settle this case favorably on behalf of Pam, and we hope that it will encourage school districts across the country to support the constitutionally protected freedom of teachers to teach and communicate honestly with both children and parents.”
Ricard retired from teaching this spring and Fox reports the school district has ceased requiring teachers to lie to parents about their student’s pronouns and gender identity.
“The Geary County School District unsuccessfully tried to convince a federal court that a teacher should completely avoid using a child’s name during a parent-teacher conference in order to hide new names and genders being used by the school for a child in a classroom,” ADF Attorney Joshua Ney told Fox.
He continued, “Absurdity and deception has its limits, especially in federal court. I’m glad the case clarifies the financial stakes for school boards if they attempt to force teachers to lie to parents about their students.”