Fury Mounts From Firing Over Transgender-Pronoun Infraction

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Central to the case of Peter Vlaming's termination by the local school board in West Point, Virginia, is an adopted policy to compel him and all teachers to use pronouns that identify an offending student's gender. A compromise has been use of their proper-noun name to mostly avoid the gender prevarication issue. (YouTube photo)

Momentum grows to convince a local school board to reinstate a Virginia school teacher after firing him last week because of a transgender pronoun infraction.

Last Friday, more than 100 students joined a student-initiated walk-out protest; students of the school said they want Peter Vlaming, their French teacher back.

On Thursday, several religious liberty organizations announced a campaign to further pressure West Point, Virginia, Schools that they should return Vlaming to his post.

The call is out to phone (804)843-4368. The opportunity is to let the board know that compelled speech is not okay, forcing compliance to transgender ideology is not okay.

Putting the call out for S.T.A.N.D. America is S.T.A.N.D. Founder E.W. Jackson. He said in America, we should all be secure of our freedoms of speech and belief. They do not evaporate because of the transgender beliefs of others.

“This is truly Orwellian. Now the government wants to dictate what pronoun you must use in addressing someone who is clearly confused about his or her own gender identity,” Jackson said. “It is positively evil and fascistic.”

Martin Mawyer, president of the Christian Action Network said people need to call 804/843-4368, because in addition to being wrong in this case, the coercion could quickly apply to all teachers in Virginia and across the nation.

“Since when have so-called transgender rights superseded everyone’s free speech rights and all our religious liberties? When?” Mawyer asked.

“Has this ever been decided in a court, or even heard?” he added. “I know there’s a huge mountain of law and precedent for our speech, religion and expression rights. And, oh, yeah, there’s that whole First Amendment.”

What happened

Middle and high school students walked out a little past noon last Friday (Dec. 7) in a planned gesture after the prior evening’s 5-0 school board vote to fire.

The school’s principal, Jonathan Hochman, placed Vlaming on administrative leave Oct. 31 after a reported transgender pronoun incident.

Earlier October, Vlaming, during an activity using virtual-reality goggles, called out for students to “stop her.” A student moving quickly with goggles on was close to colliding into a wall.

More than 100 students walked out as a protest against Vlaming’s termination. School officials confiscated a student petition in November, but allowed it when faced with a legal threat. The walk-out took place without retaliation or intimidation from school officials. (Virginia Gazette photo)

That student, however, insists that she is a boy, and the school rules regarding transgender students is that they should be treated with respect.

As the controversy stirred, Vlaming decided he would not go down easy.

Personnel hearings are usually private. Vlaming decided to make the Dec. 6, evening personnel hearing public, as was his right. More than 100 wanted to attend, but the choir room for the hearing only fit 36.

The further impacts

Jackson noted the stench of mistreatment, and warned that the agenda against traditional values reaches a new level with cases such as Vlaming’s.

“We are being asked, oh, correction, we are being ordered to sacrifice our freedoms at the altar of political correctness,” Jackson exclaimed.

“We are also being commanded to ignore biology and genetics,” he added. “If you dare suggest psychological treatment for gender dysphoria, you can be fired from many public and private sector jobs.”

Additionally troubling is the fact that many teachers currently follow Vlaming’s practice of referring to transgender-claiming students by their proper names, dropping references to pronouns.

That is where it becomes compelled speech . . . it violates his first amendment rights

West Point school and board officials insisted their new policy is for teachers to use the cross-gender pronouns. They say transgender students notice the proper-name treatment as different from others.

Vlaming attorney Shawn Voyles pointed to this distinction as crucial. “The school board adopted one viewpoint, and then they required Mr. Vlaming, at the cost of his job, to adopt that ideology,” Voyles said.

“That is where it becomes compelled speech,” Voyles added. “That is where it violates his First Amendment rights that he continues to retain as a public employee.”

Vlaming said he understood his student’s choice, and he would not ridicule her. Because of his Christian beliefs, he does not agree that it is true, though.

If she calls herself by a new, more masculine name, he’s okay with that. “I am happy to use the new name,” he said. “I am happy to avoid female pronouns, so not to offend. I’m not here to provoke.”

Vlaming apologized for his mistaken use of a female pronoun during the classroom incident.

Conclusion: call (804)843-4368

Mawyer pointed to the administrative manipulation of their own policies, going far beyond stated rules, as typical of a system that is pushing hard for a pro-transgender agenda of forced compliance.

“A teacher was bullied, and along with him, all teachers,” Mawyer said.  “I seem to remember a campaign against bullying in schools, but now the school system can practice bullying?

“What does this reveal to students about bullying?” Mawyer added. “Is it now, ‘do what we say, not what we do?’ Shameful, absolutely shameful. What an embarrassment!”

Jackson called the treatment of Vlaming un-American, concluding, “We are going to fight this evil wherever it rears its ugly head! Vlaming harmed nobody, but he was grossly harmed.”

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