A Teacher in Virginia has been fired for refusing to use a students “new” pronoun. The devout Christian explains that he can’t refer to a male as female or a female as male. Instead, he simply avoided the pronoun altogether. This, the student claims, made them uncomfortable.
So, using the wrong pronoun is unacceptable. And using no pronoun is unacceptable. Because it singles out the student. Makes them different. As if a girl suddenly deciding they are a boy (or vice versa) doesn’t make them different.
[Peter] Vlaming’s avoidance of pronoun use made the transgender student feel singled out, according to the report.
“That discrimination then leads to creating a hostile learning environment. And the student had expressed that. The parent had expressed that,” West Point schools Superintendent Laura Abel said, the newspaper reported. “They felt disrespected.”
Vlaming was put on leave in October and the school board recently voted 5-0 to terminate the French Teacher.
Does Peter Vlaming Have Any Rights?
His faith, apparently, has no relevance here? Actually, it does according to Vlaming’s lawyer.
“One of those rights that is not curtailed is to be free from being compelled to speak something that violates your conscience,” his lawyer Shawn Voyles said, according to the Virginia newspaper.
The school also has no specific policy regarding the use of pronouns. Supporters have said as much in his defense. “Some raised questions about the fairness of Vlaming’s firing for allegedly violating a policy that does not exist or is not clear.”
Clarity has nothing at all to do with this.
But I would be interested in seeing some support for a legal challenge based on his faith. If he were Muslim, I get the feeling no one would have dared said a thing. A theory I intend to cling to until the government schools prove me wrong.