Virginia teacher fired for refusing to use new pronouns for transgender student
"You will be made to care," wrote Eric Erickson in RedState back in 2013. He was referring to a court case in Colorado of a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple and was fined for it.
Today, we are being threatened, intimidated, and bullied into caring about people who believe they are trapped in the wrong body - that their biological gender is incorrect and that they are actually someone of the opposite gender - or some other gender created out of whole cloth.
A Virginia French teacher found out the consequences of trying to balance his religious beliefs with the new paradigm of "transitioning" to another gender.
Peter Vlaming ran afoul of a toxic form of political correctness which is not based on science, or fact, and is based on the irrational construct that we can choose our gender.
Vlaming, 47, who had taught at the school for almost seven years after spending more than a decade in France, told his superiors his Christian faith prevented him from using male pronouns for a student he saw as female.
The student’s family informed the school system of the transition over the summer. Vlaming said he had the student in class the year before when the student identified as female.
Vlaming agreed to use the student’s new, male name. But he tried to avoid using any pronouns — he or him, and she or her — when referring to the student. The student said that made him feel uncomfortable and singled out.
Administrators sided with the boy, telling Vlaming he could not treat his transgender pupil differently than he treats others.
“That discrimination then leads to creating a hostile learning environment. And the student had expressed that. The parent had expressed that,” said West Point schools Superintendent Laura Abel. “They felt disrespected.”
School administrators recommended that Vlaming be fired, saying he had violated the school system’s nondiscrimination and harassment policies.
Those policies, as is usually the case, are ill-conceived and ill-drawn:
The nondiscrimination policies were updated a year ago to include protections for gender identity, but Vlaming’s lawyer, Shawn Voyles, said there was no specific guidance on the use of gender pronouns.
Even as a public employee, Voyles said, Vlaming has constitutional rights of his own.
“One of those rights that is not curtailed is to be free from being compelled to speak something that violates your conscience,” Voyles said.
Mr. Voyles is a man out of time. Speaking something that violates your conscience and not being punished for it is so 1990s. This policy appears to be just about anything the school board says it is, and that includes making an example of a Christian teacher who is being fired for something he didn't say.