Virginia teacher fired after misgendering student

Source: The Hill | December 7, 2018 | Aris Folley

A high school teacher in Virginia was reportedly fired on Thursday for transgender discrimination after he refused to refer to one of his students using his preferred gender pronouns.

The school board for West Point High School voted unanimously to approve the termination of French teacher Peter Vlaming, citing its nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies in a statement to ABC News. 

“After thoughtful deliberation, the School Board voted to support the superintendent’s recommendation,” the statement reads. “The School Board has adopted policies and tonight we upheld these policies.” 

The school board went on to say that it wouldn’t provide further comment due to “the potential for future litigation.” 

Vlaming reportedly said at a public hearing on Thursday that religious reasons prevented him from using the transgender student’s preferred pronouns. He said he agreed to use the boy’s new name but avoided using gender pronouns when referring to the student.

An online petition ABC News pointed to that called for Vlaming to remain employed by the Virginia school has gathered over 1,800 signatures. 

The petition, titled “Don’t terminate Mr. Vlaming,” also quotes the teacher as saying, “I won’t use male pronouns with a female student that now identifies as a male, though I did agree to use the new masculine name but avoid female pronouns.”

“Administration is requiring that I use masculine pronouns in any and every context at school,” Vlaming continued. “I was informed that any further instances of using female pronouns would be grounds for termination.”

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