Christian bigotry punished: Peter Vlaming, a Virginia high school teacher, has been fired after repeatedly refusing to use appropriate pronouns when addressing a transgender student.
Peter Vlaming, a French teacher at West Point High School, about 40 miles east of Richmond, Virginia, has been fired from his teaching position because he repeatedly refused to use a transgender student’s preferred pronouns. Instead, Vlaming repeatedly bullied the student by misgendering him in the classroom.
According to reports, Vlaming repeatedly misgendered a female-to-male transgender student by refusing to use his preferred pronouns. Instead, the cruel bully insisted on referring to the male student with female pronouns.
After repeated warnings, Vlaming was disciplined. and eventually fired. Earlier this week the West Point School Board voted unanimously to terminate Vlaming. Superintendent Laura Abel said she agreed with the decision. In a statement Abel said:
The School Board has policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity. As detailed during the course of the public hearing, Mr. Vlaming was recommended for termination due to insubordination through his repeated refusal to comply with directives made to him by multiple West Point Public Schools administrators. As superintendent, it is my responsibility to enforce board policy, and due to Mr. Vlaming’s non-compliance I therefore recommended termination.
Vlaming has tried to defend his cruelty and bigotry by claiming religious reasons prevented him from referring to the student as male. In an online petition in support of Vlaming, the teacher is quoted as saying:
I won’t use male pronouns with a female student that now identifies as a male though I did agree to use the new masculine name but avoid female pronouns. Administration is requiring that I use masculine pronouns in any and every context at school. I was informed that any further instances of using female pronouns would be grounds for termination.
Citing his devout Christian faith in trying to defend his deplorable conduct, Vlaming, reading from a prepared statement, told the school board:
We are here today because a specific worldview is being imposed on me. Even higher than my family ranks my faith.
For the record, no “worldview” was being imposed on Vlaming. All that was asked was that he treat his student with the respect and dignity every person is entitled to expect. And Vlaming, because of his devout Christian faith, could not even meet these minimal requirements for being a decent human being.
Bottom line: This is good news. Peter Vlaming should have been fired, and he was. Christian bigotry and ignorance should have no place in a public school, and religious superstition is never a justification for cruelty and bullying.