After a months long battle, Pamela Ricard has won her battle against transgender-accommodating policies being implemented in public schools across the nation.
Ricard was reprimanded in April of 2021 for failure to use a student's preferred pronouns, despite the school not having an official policy on preferred pronoun use at the time. The school later implemented various policies on the issue after Ricard was reprimanded.
Ricard sued the school after she was reprimanded, citing that her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been violated. In May of 2022, Ricard received a ruling by a federal court that her termination for failing to use students' preferred pronouns was unconstitutional.
The decision rendered the termination unconstitutional because her refusal to use the pronouns was based on her religious beliefs, specifically Christianity. This she cited as the reason she could not be compelled to adhere to the school’s demand, which was to call students by names or pronouns that were inconsistent with their biological sex.
Ricard wants policies that are transparent and equitable for students, teachers and parents, stating, "We need to be open and honest, have the students be open and honest with their parents and teachers."
Ricard believes the involvement of parents in these matters is the best way to navigate the issue going forward saying, "The parents are there to support us, we’re here to support the parents, the students. You have to have that open relationship for all of it to work together."
This ruling comes nearly a year after Tanner Cross, a gym teacher in Virginia was reinstated after a brief suspension for failing to use a student’s preferred pronouns. Like Ricard, Cross appealed his suspension on his Christian beliefs.
Cases like Ricard and Cross' have been on the rise, as many schools across the US have adopted policies surrounding preferred pronouns and nondisclosure to parents about purported transgender identities. Teachers across the nation are compelled to use whatever preferred pronoun and name a student wants, and are prohibited by school policy from disclosing this information to parents if the student requests it be confidential.
Parents are also getting more involved in these discussions, another effect of the rising involvement of parents in public school policies after COVID Zoom classrooms gave parents more transparency into the seditious inner workings that they were told they could trust.
Rulings like this in US federal courts are in stark contrast to hivemind laws in Canada such as Bill C-16 passed in 2017, which delineated misgendering students as a hate crime. Canadian professor and psychologist Jordan Peterson rose to fame and notoriety in 2016 after his outspoken opposition to this law and similar policies.
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