VA Teacher Offered to Use Student’s Preferred Name, Gets Fired for Not Using Preferred Gender Pronouns

On Thursday, a Virginia school board voted unanimously to fire one of its high school teachers after he refused to use preferred pronouns to refer to a student who identified as transgender.

French teacher Peter Vlaming offered to call the student, who was trying to transition from male to female, by a male name but argued that using different pronouns would constitute a lie.

“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,” Vlaming said, according to a petition to prevent his termination.

Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters

According to Vlaming, the administration required him to use masculine pronouns “in any and every context at school.” According to WTVR, Vlaming allegedly had a slip-up when he yelled out to stop the student who, at the time, was wearing virtual reality gear and almost ran into a wall.

The West Point school board’s vote received approval from superintendent Laura Abel who portrayed Vlaming’s position as “discrimination.”

“That discrimination then leads to creating a hostile learning environment. And the student had expressed that. The parent had expressed that,” she said, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Vlaming, however, contended that the school’s policy was intolerant and a form of “coercion.” He also indicated he would be open to taking legal action in response to the school board’s decision.

The case came as many other schools oversaw similar controversies and President Donald Trump’s administration considered defining gender on a biological basis. The definition would clarify that Title IX — a sex discrimination statute for schools receiving federal money — didn’t apply to gender identity.

As IJR previously noted, gender politics have become a prominent issue on college campuses. Last month, IJR interviewed Berkeley student senator Isabella Chow who faced retaliation after she cited religion when she abstained from a vote condemning Trump’s gender definition.

Earlier this year, an Ohio professor faced a situation similar to Vlaming’s and sued his university. His university required him to use the title “Miss” for a student who identified as transgender.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated.

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Kathy Tscheiner

He should NOT have been fired. Apparently this school is going to the dogs. A person is born a certain gender, male or female. If they want to live in a delusional world where they think they are something other than what they were born, the rest of the world should not have to go along. That just makes the sane people seem as nuts.


Take legal action against them. The insanity of this all is just mind boggling. Your either born male or female. Your genes determine which gender your going to be. You cannot dispute this it’s scientifically proven. If you cannot abide by it and don’t like be addressed by your biological gender get home schooled. Teachers have better things to do than pander to confused adolescents who really don’t know want they want at their age. Let them teach not worry about being politically correct.

Pat Warnock

When will all this madness stop? Sue the school at once.

Rick Flash

I really hope the teacher sues, as this self-absorbed stuff is getting totally ridiculous! I didn’t read anywhere, where the teacher actually mistreated the student in any way. It doesn’t seem that his intent was to discriminate. After all, according to James Comey, Hillary didn’t “intend” to break the law 34,000 times, so she shouldn’t be punished, right? If this interpretation of the law is good enough for Hillary, it should be good enough for everyone!


If the teacher is willing, I smell lawsuit.

Michael P. Morgan

Common sense has abandoned many and we kowtow to the few.


Has American society become crazy dysfunctional? To fire a teacher because he refers to a reality that some teen refuses to realize is absurd. Time for a reality check. The world out side of academia does not give a dam about your feelings. PC gone crazy!





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