A West Point, Virginia, high school French teacher was fired last week for not using the “right” pronoun for a student who thinks she’s a transgender boy.
Peter Vlaming, 47, a teacher at West Point High School in West Point, Virginia, told the school board that his religious convictions prevent him from calling a girl a boy. But after a four-hour hearing, the board voted 5-0 to fire the teacher for refusing to bow to radical gay activist demands.
Vlaming has been teaching in the district for seven years and for another decade before that, he taught in France.
But one student complained about Vlaming, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
The student’s family informed the school system of the transition over the summer. Vlaming said he had the student in class the year before when the student identified as female.
Vlaming agreed to use the student’s new, male name. But he tried to avoid using any pronouns — he or him, and she or her — when referring to the student. The student said that made him feel uncomfortable and singled out.
The school sided with the student and demanded that Vlaming call the girl a boy.
“That discrimination then leads to creating a hostile learning environment. And the student had expressed that. The parent had expressed that,” Superintendent Laura Abel told the media. “They felt disrespected.”
School administrators recommended that Vlaming be fired because the school district recently put out a new policy vowing to bow to the radical gay lobby. However, there is no specific language in the guidelines saying exactly what teachers must do in such cases.
Because there is no specific guidelines, Vlaming and his supporters said that he could not be violating any rules.
Vlaming also said he respects every student:
Speaking in his own defense, Vlaming said he loves and respects all his students and had tried to reach a solution based on “mutual tolerance.” That effort was rejected, he said, putting him at risk of losing his job for having views held by “most of the world for most of human history.”
The board fired him, anyway.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.