When the Geary County school district in Kansas created a policy to deceive parents, teacher Pamela Ricard knew it was wrong.
Ricard was reprimanded and suspended for referring to a transgender student by their given, legal name and pronouns in 2021.
What she found deceptive was that the school district wanted her to use those monikers for the child when talking with the parents. The school district did not want the parents to know when a student changed their pronouns or name.
Ricard sued the school district, claiming instruction to lie to parents in her meetings with them went against her Christian faith.
On Wednesday, Aug. 31, the school district settled with Ricard and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) who was representing her in the lawsuit, for $95,000. Upon settling, the school district withdrew the lawsuit.
"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 commented.
"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."
"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 said. "Absurdity and deception have 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."
This decision joins other cases of public schools and school boards trying to deceive and hide information regarding children from their parents. In Pennsylvania, a first-grade teacher is being sued in federal court by parents accusing them of teaching their children about "gender dysphoria and transgender transitioning." This action violates school policy and state law.
Recently, Florida primaries saw five school board seats flip to conservative majorities. This includes Miami Dade, which is now the largest conservative controlled school board in the country.
James Lasher is a Copy Editor for Charisma Media.
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