Ohio Middle School Teacher Alleges School Fired Her for Refusing to Use Students’ Preferred Pronouns
“No school official can force a teacher to set her religious beliefs aside in order to keep her job.”
In a lawsuit, a middle school teacher in Ohio claims she lost her job when she refused to use students’ preferred pronouns based on her religious beliefs.
Aside from the legal aspects of this story, one has to wonder why middle school students have preferred pronouns.
FOX News reports:
Ohio teacher forced to resign after refusing to call students by preferred pronouns: Lawsuit
A middle school teacher in Ohio alleges in a lawsuit against her former employer that she was forced to resign after refusing to refer to students by their preferred pronouns.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court on behalf of former Jackson Memorial Middle School teacher Vivian Geraghty by the Alliance Defending Freedom, states that her school district required teachers to participate in the “social transition” of students in her class who have “‘transitioned’ to a gender that was inconsistent with their sex.” Jackson Memorial Middle School is in Massillon, Ohio.
Geraghty, however, refused to participate in the policy because of her Christian religious beliefs. The lawsuit alleges that the school “ejected her” within two hours of Geraghty telling principal Kacy Carter about her reservations to the policy.
“But as soon as Defendants found out that Ms. Geraghty had a religious basis for resisting their attempt to implement an orthodoxy, they forced her to resign. Within two hours of being notified that Ms. Geraghty had reservations about their approach to the issue on Aug. 26, without there ever being any complaint from a student or disruption of any school services, Defendants ejected her from the school,” the lawsuit states.
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing Ms. Geraghty.
This is from their press release on the case:
“No school official can force a teacher to set her religious beliefs aside in order to keep her job. The school tried to force Vivian to recite as true the school’s viewpoint on issues that go to the foundation of morality and human identity, like what makes us male or female, by ordering her to personally participate in the social transition of her students…
The controversy began when two students asked Geraghty to participate in their social transition. This included using new names to reflect a new asserted gender identity for both students and using pronouns inconsistent with one student’s sex. The school counselor e-mailed Geraghty and several other teachers with instructions to participate in the students’ social transition. In response, Geraghty approached the principal with the hope of reaching a solution that would allow her to continue doing what she had always done: teach her class without personally affirming as true things that she believes are false and harmful.
The principal and his superior, the school district’s director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, told Geraghty that “she would be required to put her beliefs aside as a public servant,” that her unwillingness to participate in a social transition in violation of her faith amounted to insubordination, and that continuing to teach consistent with her beliefs would “not work in a district like Jackson.” Further, the officials told Geraghty that, if she would not participate in the students’ social transitions, she must resign immediately.
Geraghty said that she believed forcing her to resign violated her rights under the First Amendment, but the principal reiterated his stance that, as a public servant, she must “set [her] religious convictions aside,” and that if she was unable to do so, she had no choice but to resign. The director of curriculum, instruction, and assessment then handed Geraghty a laptop and ordered her to draft her letter of resignation in the adjoining room for immediate submission.
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