By Ophelia Garrett
An elected school official in Rhode Island said using proper pronouns — against the preferred identity of a “transgender” child — is an “act of violence” and must be “dealt with accordingly.”
Jennifer Lima is a school committee member for the North Kingstown school district and is involved in bringing "anti-racist" policies into the district. In 2021, she faced a recall effort for pushing an alleged "Marxist" and pro-critical race theory agenda.
Sometime in early November, Lima shared a post from an activist group which said
“I recognize that some may find the use of the word violence in this post extreme:
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.”
Lima was swift in justifying her call to “act accordingly” by clarifying "I do not believe that post suggests that using incorrect pronouns should be met with violence." But further said misgendering someone is paramount to "psychological violence."
Nicole Solas, a Senior Fellow with Independent Women's Forum, interpreted Lima's post differently, voicing her concern that Lima had "created a hostile, paranoid school environment where violence is now more likely to happen thanks to her hysterical message that danger lurks around every pronoun," and accused Lima of trying to "justify oppressive speech restrictions on vulnerable children. 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."
"I also believe that purposely misgendering someone is an act of psychological violence when done deliberately and consistently and should be responded to accordingly. Investigating and disciplining such occurrences in the same way as any other biased-based assault." –Jennifer Lima