A Rhode Island elected school board official involved in promoting a diversity, equity, and inclusion agenda in the district, recently came under fire for claiming that intentionally "misgendering" someone is an "act of violence" that "needs to be dealt with accordingly."
Jennifer Lima, elected member of the North Kingstown School Committee, shared a social media post from an activist group on November 12 that read, "Purposefully misgendering students is an act of violence. Respond accordingly."
Lima added to the shared post, "I recognize that some may find the use of the word violence in this post extreme."
"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 continued.
Lima was consequently slammed online by critics who interpreted her post as advocating a violent response to using incorrect pronouns.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Lima explained, "I also believe that purposely misgendering someone is an act of psychological violence when done deliberately and consistently and should be responded to accordingly."
Lima clarified that she believes appropriate responses to someone using the wrong pronoun included "investigating and disciplining such occurrences in the same way as any other biased-based assault."
Lima noted that she does not believe her post "suggests that using incorrect pronouns should be met with violence."
Nicole Solas, a senior fellow with the Independent Women's Forum, disagreed and told Fox News Digital, "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."
"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 continued. "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."
The Gaspee Project stated that the school board official was "openly seeking to indoctrinate students with divisive race and gender theories as well as anti-police propaganda."
Lima stated that the organization targeted her for being "vocal about deeper antiracism education."