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A teacher in Kansas, who was suspended because she refused to use a student’s chosen pronouns and had to keep a student’s gender transition secret from her parents, has been given $95,000 by way of damages. This is believed to be a case that could set future precedents.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) threatened to take legal action. On Wednesday, school officials gave in, and the lawsuit was dropped. The ADF’s press release praised the decision and noted that it was a win for teachers, parents, and free speech.
The teacher, who wants to stay unnamed, had worked at the school for six years when the student came out as transgender. The student, born male but identifying as female, asked the teacher to use feminine pronouns when talking about her.
The teacher initially complied but later stopped doing so after consulting with her religious leaders. She also refused to keep the student’s transition secret from her parents and told them about it.
The school district suspended the teacher and placed her on paid leave. She was later reinstated but told she would have to use the student’s preferred pronouns or face further discipline.
The teacher sued, claiming that the district had violated her right to free speech and religious freedom.
Under the terms of the settlement, the teacher will receive $95,000 from the district. She will also be allowed to return to her job and will not have to use the student’s preferred pronouns.
The district has also agreed to revise its policies on transgender students and staff.
This is a victory not just for this teacher but for all teachers who wish to be able to freely express their religious beliefs. It is also a victory for parents, who should be able to trust that their children’s teachers will not keep important information about their child from them.
This case highlights the importance of free speech and religious freedom, both of which are under attack in today’s society. We must continue to fight for these freedoms, or we will lose them.
“It is unconstitutional for any school district to require teachers to deliberately deceive parents or participate in speech that goes against their deeply held religious beliefs,” Tyson Langhofer, Senior Counsel and Director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom said.
“This settlement is a victory not only for this teacher, but also for every student in Kansas who ought to be able to have educators who respect their God-given dignity.”
“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 teacher will receive $75,000 from the district and an additional $20,000 from the district’s insurance company. The district has also agreed to revise its policies to protect the rights of teachers with sincerely held religious beliefs.
The teacher filed the lawsuit in Christian conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom’s name. However, the district has not yet given a response to the agreement.
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