Social media remarks by a Rhode Island school district official claiming that anyone who uses the wrong pronoun for a child is guilty of an “act of violence” that merits severe punishment have drawn backlash for creating a “hostile, paranoid school environment” with some calling for her removal.
Democrat Jennifer Lima, who was elected to the North Kingstown School Committee and has already survived a recall effort last year after she was accused of “openly seeking to indoctrinate students with divisive race and gender theories as well as anti-police propaganda,” once again caught the attention of critics with her November 12 Facebook post in which she cited criteria from the World Health Organization (WHO) to equate misgendering of children to an act of violence.
“I recognize that some may find the use of the word violence in this post extreme,” she wrote. “Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as ‘the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation.'”
“Any act of violence in our schools which creates an unsafe environment (physically or emotionally by or for any member of the school community) needs to be dealt with accordingly,” she added, not specifying what “accordingly” might mean.
“Honest mistakes will happen any time there is a change to a student’s name and pronoun/s. Prove your values by doing better tomorrow, the next day, the next week. But when a staff members looks directly at a gender expansive member of your school community and deliberately misgenders them, it’s an act of violence. It’s hate speech. It has no place in school communities and should be investigated and disciplined in the same way as any other bias-based assault. It’s not about your privately held beliefs, it’s about your human decency. It’s about the safety of children and every person at school,” reads a link to a Minneapolis-based group advocating for transgenderism in schools.
Not surprisingly, Lima’s post was met with strong reactions by many who were shocked and appalled.
“When you believe words are ‘violence’ you take away from what is actually violence. Don’t be so damn soft when it comes to insignificant crap in this world. Actual violence is forced upon men and women daily, stop the stupidity,” wrote one Facebook user.
“So…what about free speech? People who do not share your beliefs? Even if someone is doing it intentionally and bullying…what is the appropriate punishment? And why just this? Why not all name calling? All bullying? I’d like more clarification on your views,” another user asked.
“This violates the Constitution. It’s fascist,” wrote another user.
“Someone please lock this woman up! She is a menace and danger to society. She belongs in prison. Respond accordingly,” wrote another.
Still another Facebook user added, “Words cannot hurt us. But indoctrination can!”
Lima sought to clarify her post, saying that she was referring to “psychological violence” in a statement to Fox News Digital
“‘I also believe that purposely misgendering someone is an act of psychological violence when done deliberately and consistently and should be responded to accordingly.’ She said appropriate responses included ‘investigating and disciplining such occurrences in the same way as any other biased-based assault,'” the outlet reported.
“I absolutely believe in First Amendment speech protections, both as an elected official and an individual,” added Lima. “I do not believe that post suggests that using incorrect pronouns should be met with violence.”
Lima’s Facebook timeline is filled with promotions of “woke” ideology, especially transgenderism.
Another Rhode Islander, Independent Women’s Forum Senior Fellow Nicole Solas accused Lima of attempting to “justify oppressive speech restrictions on vulnerable children,” according to Fox News.
“If you believe you’re under threat of violence then to ‘respond accordingly’ means you act in self-defense, which is a physical and often violent action taken to protect yourself,” Solas said. “Her public call for students to ‘respond accordingly’ to non-existent violence is her own tacit call to violence against those who oppose her radical ideology.”
“She creates a hostile, paranoid school environment where violence is now more likely to happen thanks to her hysterical message that danger lurks around every pronoun,” Solas added. “Children should not be casualties in her demented quest for gender ideology utopia in North Kingstown School District. She should resign for this irresponsible and disgraceful behavior before someone gets hurt.”
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