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High school teacher takes his firing over gender pronoun issues to VA Supreme Court

by Premier Journalist

In Virginia, a high school teacher appealed his recent firing over issues involving pronouns to the Virginia Supreme Court.

Peter Vlaming was a high school teacher in King William County, where he taught French for seven years. In 2019, he was fired by the school corporation after deciding not to call a student by their requested pronouns. According to the Washington Post, Vlaming had been asked by the student to refer to the student by male pronouns despite being born as a biological female. 

After administrators threatened the French teacher with a firing, Vlaming sought a compromise by only referring to the student by their first name and no pronouns. However, a slip of the tongue by Vlaming lead to the student leaving his class and his firing. The school cited policies of creating a hostile environment as the reason for his dismissal.

Vlaming would partner with Alliance Defending Freedom to sue the school district over the firing, arguing it was a breach of his religious rights. When asked for their response, school officials told the Post that they had done no wrong and intended to fight the court case.

A judge initially dismissed the case, but now the teacher intends to appeal the court case and bring it before the state Supreme Court.

“As a teacher, Peter was passionate about the subject he taught, well-liked by his students and accommodating to their needs and requests. And yet, when he went out of his way to accommodate a student’s requests, yet respectfully declined to speak in a manner that went against his conscience, none of his credentials mattered—he was fired,” said ADF Legal Counsel Caleb Dalton in a prewritten statement. “Tolerance is a two-way street, but the school board treated it as a one-way ratchet.”


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