A Rhode Island school board member is under fire for her view that misgendering is “an act of violence” that “should be dealt with accordingly.”
North Kingstown School District committee member Jennifer Lima shared a Facebook post Nov. 12 that proclaimed, “Purposefully misgendering students is an act of violence. Respond accordingly.”
That post, originally from “Gender Inclusive Schools,” was accompanied by Lima’s own commentary, which began, “I recognize that some may find the use of the word violence in this post extreme,” followed by the World Health Organization’s definition of violence.
“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 concluded.
The original post Lima shared also argues authorities should respond to misgendering by “investigating and disciplining such occurrences in the same way as any other biased-based assault.”
While Lima is no stranger to posting gender ideology and CRT talking points on social media, this particular post sparked more controversy than usual, with both the post and its critics in the comments section making headlines.
Lima attempted to clear up her use of the word “violence” in a statement to Fox News Digital, saying she meant “psychological violence.” She also claimed to “absolutely” believe in the First Amendment and did not intend to suggest that misgendering should be met with violence.
Nicole Solas, a senior fellow with Independent Women’s Forum, doesn’t accept Lima’s explanation.
“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 told Fox News. “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.”
Some of Lima’s critics who are particularly concerned with her promotion of Critical Race Theory attempted to remove her from the board last year in a recall, which was unsuccessful.
“They’re saying, ‘She said she doesn’t support CRT in the schools, but yet she talks about CRT.’ I do talk about CRT on my TANK website,” Lima admitted in an interview last year. “That’s two different things. As a school committee member, I recognize that my responsibility is for the district.”
Weeks later, Lima authored an article for Ms. Magazine with the title “Anti-Racism Should Be Taught to Students – And Their Parents,” part of the magazine’s initiative called “Journey to Justice: A Critical Race Theory Primer.”
“Children should not be casualties in her demented quest for gender ideology utopia in North Kingstown School District,” Solas said of Lima. “She should resign for this irresponsible and disgraceful behavior before someone gets hurt.”