Vlaming agreed to call the student by a preferred name and even encouraged all his students to choose a new French name for the class so the student would not feel singled out. However, the school did not think that was enough.
The West Point School Board unanimously voted to terminate Vlaming from his position in 2018. The teacher stated that since then, he has been unable to get another teaching job in the state.
"Sometimes it costs something to speak the truth, to not lie. Sometimes it costs something to do what is right," said Vlaming. "We've come to a point where your job may be in the balance, but if people don't take a stand, then we're basically going more and more toward a totalitarian system where things that have nothing to do with the curriculum [that is] being required."
Vlaming's pending lawsuit
On Friday morning, the Supreme Court of Virginia heard oral arguments in Vlaming's case that will determine whether teachers could be required to speak in a way that contradicts their own deeply held personal beliefs.
Vlaming's legal counsel, Caleb Dalton with Alliance Defending Freedom, told Fox News Digital that the court is addressing "whether or not public schools will be allowed to fire teachers simply because they can't express and personally endorse an ideological belief."
Dalton stated that the lawsuit was initially filed with the Virginia Circuit Court, but the case was dismissed.
"No government should be able to force an employee on pain of firing to lie and to violate their conscience," Dalton said. "We're thankful that the Virginia Constitution protects his rights, and we're hopeful the Virginia Supreme Court affirms those."
Vlaming noted that teachers all over the nation have reached out to him since the case became public.
"Teachers are being required to parrot beliefs that are – I would say, false on their face – but that many teachers don't hold," said Vlaming.
Dalton noted that Vlaming respects the right of the students and parents to have their own beliefs about gender ideology.
"All he's asking for is not to be compelled to say that he believes the same thing," he added.
The Commonwealth of Virginia filed an amicus brief in support of Vlaming, which urged the court to "hold that Virginia's Constitution and Code forbid the government from forcing its citizens to express personal agreement with messages contrary to their deeply held religious beliefs."