Teacher fired for not using trans student's new pronouns sues former school district

The former teacher says his rights to speak freely and exercise his religion were violated.

Associated Press
October 02, 2019 - 1:49 pm
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WEST POINT, Va. (KFTK/AP) — A Virginia high school teacher who was fired for refusing to use a transgender student’s new pronouns has filed a lawsuit.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Peter Vlaming is suing West Point Public Schools. The system is outside Richmond.

Vlaming says his rights to speak freely and exercise his religion were violated. The suit states that Vlaming “sincerely believes that referring to a female as a male by using an objectively male pronoun is telling a lie.”

The French teacher was fired in December. He had told superiors at West Point High School that his religion prevented him from using male pronouns for a student who had informed the school of his transition during the summer.

In a statement to The Washington Post, a spokesperson for West Point Schools and its board said it denies any wrongdoing and will “vigorously defend” against Vlaming’s claim.

“West Point Public Schools’ primary focus is on students, staff, and instruction,” the spokesperson said, “and we will continue to direct our energy toward maintaining a high-quality learning environment in our schools.”