Teacher Suspended for Not Using Student’s Preferred Name, Pronouns Gets $95,000 Settlement

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A teacher in Kansas has received a $95,000 settlement after she was suspended by her former employer for refusing to use a student’s preferred name and pronoun.

Pamela Ricard, who had taught math at Fort Riley Middle School before she retired in May, was suspended for three days by the school in April 2021, and received a formal written reprimand that same month for “addressing a biologically female student by the student’s legal and enrolled last name,” according to a lawsuit Ricard filed in March against school officials (pdf).

In a statement on Aug. 31, Alliance Defending Freedom announced that Fort Riley Middle School officials “have agreed to pay $95,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees for violating a math teacher’s First Amendment rights when they reprimanded and suspended her for addressing a student by the student’s legal and enrolled name and forced her to conceal the student’s social transition from the student’s parents.”

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