Christian teacher wins $95,000 settlement after misgendering student for “religious” reasons

Can anyone show me where in the bible Jesus said don’t be respectful or don’t be kind to others and never use the name / pronouns they prefer.   Where in the bible did their god write only use male pronouns for beings with swing penises, something I highly doubt God the father he himself has?  Really the supreme being in your religion who is super magical, has a penis?   If not then you are using a preferred pronoun!   Did god ever write be an asshole over changing someone’s name, or did he himself command it several times?   This is just hate packaged as religion to get permission from the government to be an asshole and a jerk.   How much more superior that teacher must feel after treating a kid so crudely.    I hope everyone learns that they do not want to ever be like her.   Somehow for the good of the students we must get teachers like her out of teaching.   When did the rules of a job just not apply to those who claim religion?   Are we a theocracy or a democracy?   Again what is the big issue religiously with calling someone by a name they prefer, we use nick names for people all the time.   I think this is part of the stereotype gender role that must be enforced by the fanatically religious.    Woman’s clothes, men’s clothes, woman’s job, men’s job, woman’s names, men’s names, and so on.   I don’t think clothing, jobs, names and so on really need to have a gender assignment.   Is Kim a male or female name?  Depends where you are.  What about Sandy?    Hugs

Education doodles against teacher shouting at boy in classroom (Stock)
Photo: Shutterstock

A teacher in Kansas was awarded $95,000 Wednesday to settle a lawsuit after she misgendered a student but claimed that she should be allowed to because of her religious beliefs.

The former math teacher at Fort Riley Middle School, Pamela Ricard, claimed it was a violation of her religious beliefs to use the preferred pronouns of a trans boy student and insisted on addressing him as “miss.”

She was reprimanded and suspended for three days for violating the bullying, diversity, and inclusion policies. She sued the school district.

The lawsuit alleged the Geary County School District denied Ricard’s request for a religious exemption to its policy that school staff use students’ preferred pronouns. The district also directed teachers to use a student’s legal name when communicating with parents, concealing the student’s pronoun preference, according to the suit.

“No school district should ever force teachers to willfully deceive parents or engage in any speech that violates their deeply held religious beliefs,” Tyson Langhofer, Ricard’s lawyer, told the AP.

The anti-LGBTQ hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Kriegshauser Ney Law Group filed the case on Ricard’s behalf.

Addressing the student as “miss” was Ricard’s attempted workaround to the school’s insistence she address him by his preferred name.

According to the lawsuit, Ricard believed using “Miss (legal/enrolled last name)” respected the student while also upholding Ricard’s religious convictions, despite the fact that that was deliberately misgendering the boy and also singling him out for differing treatment from his classmates.

Ricard said she believes God assigns gender at birth, according to the lawsuit. The school’s policy requiring her to use language that doesn’t conform to a student’s biological sex “actively violates Ms. Ricard’s religious beliefs.”

The settlement came about after a federal judge ruled the lawsuit could proceed, citing its likely success based on her free exercise of religion claim. The judge also granted Ricard’s motion to halt the district’s parental communication policy. Soon after, the district school board formally revoked the guidance.

The judge also ruled, incongruously, that Picard could avoid using students’ preferred pronouns but should address them by their preferred names.

Picard retired in May. Along with the $95,000 award, she won a statement from the school district that she was in good standing without any disciplinary actions against her.

15 thoughts on “Christian teacher wins $95,000 settlement after misgendering student for “religious” reasons

  1. I’m not going to comment on this particular case, but I do feel this is a major problem, not only in school, but in other areas as well — use of the “preferred” pronoun. (And my comment has nothing to do with religious beliefs.)

    With so many individuals suddenly deciding they’re not the gender that they are, the average person OUTSIDE the sexual preference community is going to have a tough time respecting their wishes related to how they should address them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Nan. Why? What is so hard about respecting a request to use one small word instead of another small word? Really your comment can be reworded to say you just don’t want to be respectful or polite to someone enough to refer to that person in the way they ask. I go by Scottie. When people ask my name I say Scottie, so people call me Scottie. They do that to be nice to me. The name on my birth certificate is not Scottie. In some states teachers are not allowed to call me Scottie anymore, does that make sense? If someone insisted on calling me Scott after I made clear I prefer Scottie I would be pissed off at them. You’re a female. I decide I think I should call you him, because I am calling everyone him as it is easier for me. You tell me that you want me to call you she and refer to you as her not he, and I reply no I don’t want to do that, I have the right to call everyone him. You would say I was being an asshole, and you would be correct.

      This also is trying to judge people by their looks, right. She doesn’t look feminine enough, he looks to girly and not masculine enough so she can’t be a woman, or he can not be a guy. It is making a judgement based on looks if a person is male or female. I have very long hair, and while standards of hair length for men has changed, do I with long hair, thin arms, lack of muscles, clean shaven right now, am I manly enough to be called him? I say that because on the phone I often get called ma’am. Yup. When I gently correct the caller with and identify myself as male, I normally get an apology such, oh I am sorry sir. What if those people on the phone felt it was too much trouble to bother changing how they refer to me? What if they still called me ma’am even after I told them I was a guy. On the phone they cannot see me, maybe it is they think I am trans and not going to call me by my preferred gender? Maybe they are religious and think all people with higher voices are female anyway? Do they have a right to disrespect me? Can you see how that would be insulting to a lot of people? See my point? Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WHOA! You missed my point entirely. I know you’re a vehement defender of the multiple-letter community, but my comment had nothing to do with the individuals that make up this sector.

        What I was TRYING to point out is the difficulty that individuals/strangers could have in trying to address a person who feels they are not the person their appearance indicates.

        You commented: “It is making a judgement based on looks if a person is male or female.” Good grief, Scottie! This has been the common way to address people for ages! And before this movement came along, it was pretty cut and dried. Yes, there were exceptions –there always are– but as a rule, appearance was the determining factor.

        When push comes to shove, the people in this “community” ARE going to be mislabeled now and again … but they (and you) must realize and accept that “gender identification” is a new thing. If/when it becomes more acceptable in the populace-at-large, such problems may become less prevalent. Until then …

        And I want to again point out that I am NOT commenting on the religious angle that was the topic of your post.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I wonder if I could step in here, and make the neutral point that I feel it’s unreasonable for people to expect people to know how to address them simply by appearance. I don’t believe that’s ever going to become a requirement, but I’m wondering if people are put off by an idea that they are expected to just know? Further, then to never make a mistake, even when the person is long-known as somebody else? I don’t believe that’s ever going to be expected of people, either. We’re all human, both addressees and addressors.

          I remember Cher-we recall she’s been a huge advocate for humans-said she had such trouble stuttering over calling Chaz Bono her son in general conversation, when she’d spent so many years calling her daughter; it took her some time to get the referrals to naturally come out. She always corrected, of course. Nothing wrong with any of that!

          But, there isn’t pressure from most people to require all people to automatically know how to address people. There is the simple expectation that people will be addressed as they advise they wish to be addressed.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. And now we can get back to the story of a bad teacher in KS who ill-treated a student, then collected 95,000.00 taxpayer dollars on top of her pay, for doing so.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hello Ali. Sadly she won, which will encourage other haters to mistreat trans people. As you said this is not about making a mistake this is about that teacher making a religious stance by repeatedly refusing to acknowledge the gender request of the student. She made a retirement wind fall so other will follower her. it this was the US of 12 years ago she would have lost and no one would do what she did. But tRump managed to change all that and start a theocracy. Which is stunning as he has no belief in god and no idea what is in the bible. Hugs

              Liked by 1 person

          2. Hello Ali. Well said Ali. Your last paragraph summed it up perfectly. I have never heard of anyone demanding that others know instantly who they are. As I said in my reply to Nan the problem is after being asked to use the preferred name and preferred pronouns the person being asked to do so refuses, normally on some made up religious grounds.

            Mistakes will happen. I used the example of people misgendering me on the phone. I asked is it OK for me to be pissed off if after correcting the person they still refused to call me by the correct gender or even by my preferred name.

            But if that is an issue where people are expecting their looks to telegraph who they are then they better be able to pass as that gender stereotypical look, or they will be forever misgendered and it is going to be a constant issue for them. Plus I thought one of the goals of equality was getting away from judging people on their looks? Awhile a go I posted about a cis female military lady who keeps getting accused of being trans. I can see why. She looks like a handsome man.


            Liked by 1 person

        2. Hello Nan. Please understand as you read this, I am not attacking you nor am I angry. I really think the premise you started from is flawed. I tried to show that in my first response and clearly I failed so I will try again. This may be a bit longer than you normally prefer but I think this is an important topic and the concern you raise really won’t be an issue. But first I have to do this paragraph to show what I am reacting to.

          I responded to this:

          With so many individuals suddenly deciding they’re not the gender that they are, the average person OUTSIDE the sexual preference community is going to have a tough time respecting their wishes related to how they should address them.

          I decided to ignore the “… so many individuals suddenly deciding they’re not the gender that they are,…” part of the comment as I don’t think you intended as it sounds and it really is not as important as your second point.

          The thing that I was responding to was “… going to have a tough time respecting their wishes …” That is why I asked “why”. Why would it be hard to respect someone’s wishes? That is still the question I am asking. Why is it hard to respect someone’s wishes when it comes to pronouns and names?

          Yes there have been exceptions between who you think someone is and who they are, and in that case the person corrects the misconception and the people involved moved on using the correct pronouns. I used my self on the phone as an example, I am often thought of as female on the phone. But I do now understand your issue better. You want the simplicity of simply looking at people to decide their gender, or using a name’s commonly thought of gender to decide if a person is male or female. Again you hit hard on “feels” like they are not the person their appearance would connote. . I have to correct that. It is not a feeling; it is knowing they are not the gender that they were assigned at birth. This is not a lark or a fad, it is who a person is. Just like being straight, gay, lesbian, or asexual, it is what you know about yourself. If you deny that it is the same as saying I don’t know my sexual orientation or that all my life has been a fad due to … peer pressure? In the 1970s? It was just a feeling I am having.

          Your comment and the issue you are addressing is a red herring. It simply is not the problem you think it is.

          The point you are trying to make is that mistakes will be made. OK. And. Really,… and…?

          No harm and no foul. No one is trying to say you must intuitively know everyone’s name and gender pronouns. No one ever did. Every story on this I have posted is someone asked to use a name or pronoun and refusing to do so. The teacher in this post is an example; she was not originally disciplined for not knowing what the student wanted, but for deliberately ignoring what the student had asked her to do. Your point that mistakes will be made is what has been happening now and forever. If you want to see how easy it is to mistake a trans person google some of the more famous ones. You cannot tell Buck Angel is trans from his looks, he looks more macho manly than I do, he is built. Same with so many female trans people. The fact that you don’t know about them shows they have been passing in public for all this time.

          Again let us do the scenario proposed, you misgender someone, and … they correct you. So far no problem. No one expects anyone to be a mind reader. You call someone the wrong gender and they correct you. So far no harm. It is what happens next that becomes the problem. You could be a normal respectful person and simply accept the name / gender you’re being asked to use with that person. Or you can be the teacher above or Jordan Peterson who made a career (along with millions from religious people that felt he was promoting their view almost overnight making him a millionaire) out of adamantly refusing to use college students preferred names and pronouns in his classes. She and he don’t believe that stuff, so they feel entitled to insult and refuse to honor the wishes of the other person. Do you see the difference and the problem?

          The issue you raise is people won’t know on meeting someone that their looks don’t match their gender ID or what they prefer to have for a name / pronoun. OK you don’t know. How many people in a crowd do you look at as they go by that you know their name? You don’t unless you engage them. Same with gender ID and pronouns. It is not a problem until they tell you and you refuse to be respectful or nice. That is why the real question to your comment that I asked which is “How hard is it to be respectful or nice to others”?

          I want to point out that at no time was the religion of anyone a problem until the teacher used it to be an asshole / jerk. She was asked by a student to use his preferred male name and male pronouns when addressing him or talking about him. She refused to be nice or respectful instead demanding the student conform to her religious ideas of god creating male and female. That is where religion comes in. The teacher insisting on calling a male identifying student by Miss. The teacher was being a jerk to the student because she did not want to be nice / show acceptance of the student knowing their gender identity and so she used her religion as an excuse. Religion really has nothing to do with this except some people use it as an excuse to get out of being decent people.

          Nan, I will proofread this and try to tighten it up where I can as I know you hate long replies. 😀😁 But I am trying hard to make sure what I am trying to say is what comes across. As always if you disagree or do not understand my point please reply and I will do my best to respond as I can. Understanding is better for everyone. Ok let me get this checked and posted to you. Hugs


          1. I carefully read your response … and still feel we are talking past each other. However, having said that, I do NOT wish to continue debating or discussing the topic.

            As I’ve said before, I still have reservations about the entire multiple-letter segment of society. I understand and respect your passion related to it — but you must also understand that I’m not coming from the same place as you. Therefore, please allow me to have my doubts and reservations … and to work through it on my own. Thanks. 💝

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I know I can run a searchand probably find something, but it’s interesting to me that here is the first place I heard about this particular teacher doing these particular things, and winning her case about it. $95,000.00 is a lot of money in KS (I know; to all reading here, too!) and especially for a school district to cough up, so just based on that, I’d have expected a Wichita TV channel to cover it. Hmmm …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ali. Yes I agree. So I did the google search. It was all over the news from the political news site The Hill, CNN, NBC news, NPR in Kansas City, and WIBW to name a few. Thank you for mentioning it though, I have been fooled before and so if there is a question I like to check. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I wasn’t doubting the story, Scottie! I’m not at all surprised to see it, and I clicked through to read all of it. Thanks for spending your time searching; now I find it interesting that the coverage was limited to the northern part of KS. I haven’t read at The Kansas Reflector in a few weeks, likely the story was there. That’s where I get state leg. other news we just don’t receive down here. I hope it didn’t take up too much time!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hello Ali. I hate the English language because often what I am trying to say is misunderstood by the people reading / hearing it. But as humans the verbal language is the best we have until we learn to mind read. I want to say again I thank you for questioning the story. Think of this, how better for you as my friend to do the questioning than a troll hitting my blog and forcing me to question the reality of the story. So never hold back on pointing things out, please. OK the rest below is not what you meant in your comment, but it is for others reading along.

          Now I know you were not doing that. I understand that the local news did not show it for you. I run into that here where I am in deep red Florida, a lot of stories I read online never show up in the local news / newspapers.

          That is why I tell you I enjoy the links you sent. They contain stories I wouldn’t have found on my news feeds and they are important for me to know about. Also if you see news stories about Florida that I have not posted or commented on please feel free to “poke” or send them to me. I might not ever have seen them due to corporate media in control of our media these days.

          As for too much of my time. Ali I enjoy looking up stuff that I think is important. In this case I felt it was. What I hate is when people make me look up and research things that are not important or that are malicious. And if you did not know before, let me explain for you so you won’t worry about this anymore. I love information and learning new things. I love understanding things that are true. See I was denied a quality education and so I value real information, real education. I have had to teach myself so much about history and all other topics that are normally taught in school. I admit that grammar is still really hard for me, and math is a void I just cannot really do. I can do simple adding and subtraction, I can do some multiplication, but anything to do with fractions or math higher than 4th grade I cannot do or even get my mind to handle. Thankfully there are calculators and such online.

          The point I am trying to make it is OK to question what I use for a source or a story that I post and we can talk about it. It is OK to provide both alternatives to anything I post as long as you cite the source, and it is OK to ask me my sources. That way everyone can look them up and check them out. Thanks again. I just had pizza for supper, and I am having diabetic fad out. Good night and hugs

          Liked by 1 person

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