WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- On Monday, a French teacher who was fired in 2018 for declining to use the choice pronouns with a transgender student, files a lawsuit against the school board.
- West Point High School teacher Peter Vlaming who was accused by school administrators for violating school policies by not referring to the trans student as ‘him’ or ‘his’, explained that using the pronouns on a female student contradicts his religious beliefs.
- The suit also stated that Vlaming was told to either use the preferred pronouns or get fired.
A high school teacher in Virginia has filed a suit against school officials and the board after being fired for not using a transgender student’s choice pronouns.
According to the lawsuit filed in King William County on Monday, French teacher Peter Vlaming of West Point High School was fired in December 2018 after the school board unanimously agreed to end his contract because he avoided using the pronouns “him” and “his” when referring to a female student who was transitioning to male. The school’s statement at the time said Vlaming was fired for insubordination.
Further explaining, Vlaming said that employing the male pronouns would have gone against his ‘conscience’ and religious beliefs, so he decided to just call the student by his preferred name in class.
When the school got wind of it, Vlaming who taught at the school since 2012, was told by school officials to use male pronouns or else lose his job.
In addition, it was also stated in the lawsuit that Vlaming was criticized for using female pronouns when talking about the student with other people, including an incident where he referred to the student as ‘her’. But the lawsuit also wrote that Vlaming confirmed that the incident was unintended and he talked it over with the student following the class.
The suit also disclosed that although Vlaming had discussed his religious beliefs with administrators on several occasions, he was told repeatedly that he was breaking school policies by refusing to use male pronouns.
The suit in part, read: “Defendants made up an uncompromising interpretation of their policies to compel Mr. Vlaming to take sides in an ongoing public debate regarding gender dysphoria and use pronouns that express an objectively untrue ideological message.”
The suit also maintains that Vlaming’s right to freedom of speech was violated.
“He wasn’t fired for something he said. He was fired for what he didn’t say,” according to the lawsuit which also added that Vlaming is seeking $1 million in damages.
The West Point School Board “denies any liability” and said it plans to “defend against any claims.”
Source: NBC News