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Christian teacher was fired for refusing to use trans student's preferred gender pronoun. Now he's suing the school district.


He's not going to take it

Image source: YouTube screenshot

Peter Vlaming, the Virginia teacher who lost his job after refusing to use a transgender student's preferred gender pronouns, is suing the school district.

Vlaming filed the state lawsuit in the Circuit Court for the County of King William on Monday.

According to WTVR-TV, Vlaming is suing the school board for breach of contract and for violating his rights under the Virginia Constitution and commonwealth law.

He was fired for what?

Vlaming, a former French teacher at West Point High School in West Point, Virginia, was fired in 2018 after he refused to call a transitioning student by male pronouns such as "he," "him," or "his."

The teacher cited his religion as reason to dismiss the student's requests. School administrators got involved, and offered up a solution to Vlaming: Refer to the student with the student's preferred pronouns, or receive official discipline.

Vlaming, 47, refused, and so the district eventually fired him. He was initially suspended for insubordination, and later fired. The district claimed that it fired Vlaming because he refused to follow district directive.

The former teacher defended himself during a 2018 school board meeting that would ultimately seal his professional fate at West Point High School.

"I am being punished for what I haven't said," Vlaming argued. "I'm totally happy to use the new name. I'm happy to avoid female pronouns not to offend because I'm not here to provoke ... but I can't refer to a female as a male, and a male as a female in good conscience and faith."

Vlaming taught at the school for more than seven years.

So he's suing, right?

Vlaming filed a lawsuit against the district on Monday, insisting that the district quashed his right to exercise his religion as well as his right to free speech.

The former French teacher's lawsuit states, "Vlaming's conscience and religious practice prevents him from intentionally lying and he sincerely believes that referring to a female as a male by using an objectively male pronoun is telling a lie."

Vlaming's suit seeks an injunction against the district for disciplining teachers and other district employees who insist on referring to students by their biologically assigned gender.

Vlaming's full complaint is available here.

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