Rhode Island official shares 'extreme' view that using the wrong pronoun is an act of violence
( Fox )
A Rhode Island elected official in a school district, who was previously accused of pushing a "Marxist" agenda, said that misgendering – using the wrong pronouns – was an act of "violence" and "needs to be dealt with accordingly."
Jennifer Lima is a school committee member for the North Kingstown school district and is involved in bringing "antiracist" policies into the district. In 2021, she faced a recall effort for pushing an alleged "Marxist" and pro-critical race theory agenda.
Lima is also involved in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the district.
On or about Nov. 12, Lima shared a post from an activist group which said that "Purposefully misgendering students is an act of violence. Respond accordingly."
Adding to this statement, Lima included the definition from the World Health Organization. She said, "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."
"I recognize that some may find the use of the word violence… extreme," Lima said.
Lima clarified in a statement to Fox News Digital that the post was speaking to "psychological violence."
"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."
Lima added, "I absolutely believe in First Amendment speech protections, both as an elected official and an individual."
"I do not believe that post suggests that using incorrect pronouns should be met with violence."
Nicole Solas, a Senior Fellow with Independent Women's Forum, interpreted Lima's post differently, and accused Lima of trying to "justify oppressive speech restrictions on vulnerable children."
"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, who is also from Rhode Island, 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," Solas said.
"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 said.
"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."
Last year a Rhode Island-based nonprofit called The Gaspee Project pushed for a recall against Lima. The nonprofit said Lima was "anti-American" and was pushing a "Marxist" agenda – including extreme ideologies on race.
Lima responded to their recall effort at the time, stating, "I think that I am being targeted because I am vocal about deeper antiracism education."
"I was the subject of a failed recall attempt last year. I think the failure speaks for itself," she told Fox News Digital.