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Teacher Fired For Misgendering Student

Recently a high school instructor named Peter Vlaming found himself out of a job after utilizing the wrong pronoun for one of his students. According to NBC News, Vlaming was repeatedly asked to respect his student’s right to be referred to as a boy, rather than as the girl she once was.

The incident took place when Vlaming shouted for someone to help ‘her’ — as the transgender student almost ran into a wall. This lead to the teacher being suspended from his duties as an instructor and later fired.

The student involved was a ninth-grader who had the full support of his family, which is probably why the school board decided to take action. The family of the student made it clear that they wanted the school to recognize their child as their son moving forward.

Vlaming was aware of this request but felt that doing so would compromise his own faith and morals. The biggest question in regard to this issue is whether Vlaming violated the transgender student’s right to be referred to as a boy, or if Vlaming’s right to uphold his religious beliefs was violated when he was fired for refusing to cooperate.

Believe it or not, this is something that will continue to become a major issue throughout America.

The most unfortunate thing about this situation is that it proves it’s virtually impossible to uphold the rights of everyone. If someone is a Christian and believes that transgenderism is wrong, then they have the right, according to the Constitution, to stand firm with that belief.

When you place that right next to someone else’s right to change their sex and their identity, then you have two conflicting ‘rights’ that will require the courts to determine what should be done to address them both fairly.

In this case, Vlaming was fired after the board decided to follow newly updated nondiscrimination policies that didn’t even include transgender pronoun use.

When the school’s superintendent was asked about the decision to fire Vlaming, she merely stated that “Vlaming’s discrimination led to a hostile learning environment.”

“What they did to me was not their display of tolerance,” Vlaming said of the decision. “That’s coercion.”

The Equality Virginia, an LGBTQ-rights group, stated that this situation proves the need for “statewide guidance that will protect all students from discrimination at school.”  This calls to question among many on exactly what the term ‘discrimination’ really means.

If discrimination is the unjust treatment of different people on the grounds of race, age, religion, or sex then can it be argued that Vlaming was discriminated against for deciding to stand behind his faith when he refused to call the student a boy.

If Vlaming did not treat the student differently from the others, then how is his refusal to call the student a boy considered discrimination? This is truly one for the courts to decide.

Vlaming is appealing his case on the grounds that he was cheated of his right to make a decision that was held within the confines of his faith. Unfortunately, this is not going to be the only case that we will see in the future.

With increased cases of individuals fighting for their LGBTQ rights, and others fighting for their religious beliefs that contradict the rights of LGBTQ members, it will be difficult to find a happy medium among the two groups.

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About Audra L.

Audra L. is an author, columnist and community activist who's dedicated to finding truth through research and effective communication. She received her degree in Public Policy and teaches Community Development, Public Speaking and Communications Law to youth throughout the nation. She is the recipient of over 23 awards and honors for her commitment to community outreach initiatives.

14 comments

  1. This forcing of people by the government/government school system to participate in the fantasy of transgenders needs to stop asap! It is insane. It violates free speech. It violates common sense -which government seems to have little of these days! Transgenderism is classified as a mental illness and those who support this insanity are mentally insane as well by supporting insanity. It makes about as much sense as if I wanted everyone at school (and everywhere else) to call me “Mr President”—and the school forced everyone to do so-including the teachers or get fired just so it won’t hurt my feelings or harm my fantasy of one day becoming President of the US.

  2. I am getting sick and tired of so called Christians insisting they have the right to do whatever they want, no matter how it affects someone else, simply because they “read it somewhere.” Frankly, it is a slippery slope between this and a Christian version of Sharia Law.

    • A person is what GOD made them to be, not what they wish to be!

    • It’s not only about what “Christians” wish, which by the way many liberals are doing just that of which you are complaining about, with the exception of using G-d as a source of validation, but rather their “feelings”. Anyway, let’s not get into that and I, myself, am not a religious person. These so-called policies are illegal, or should be at least, they are disobeying the constitution. These practices are halting free-speech; these are nothing more than fascist-style policies and practices that have no place in this country. And if you disagree with this then just imagine if the exact same were done to you or the communit(ies) you so dearly probably ‘defend’, you would lose your sh*t if we silenced your voice with the exact same methods you choose to use. Hypocrisy, intolerance, and bullying is what this is, nothing less.

    • I am already so sick of the left calling Christians racists, bigots, homophobes, and every other name in the politically correct dictionary. Frankly, the American liberal Left is a slippery slope into FASCISM. We are there already.

  3. Now is the time to determine by a physicall if infact the student is the gender proclaimed or if in fact just theory in the minds of the beholders! Facts matter even today.

  4. The word nazi’s are at it again.

  5. Still not have a penis? Then she’s a girl. Sorry folks. Feelings don’t change fact.

  6. This teacher should never have lost his job!!! I”ll lay odds that this girl does not have a penis. Somebody needs to slap the shit out of this child parents! And I would pull my own child from this school if I found out that this child used the boys locker room. This is just bad parenting period. Talk about screwing a child head up. If you have a son…you address him as a boy. And a daughter as a girl. Just because a child wants to be something they are not surely does not mean or justify treating them as such. This is not a choice! The reason we have a penis or a vagina is just because of stupid ass parents who can’t tell the difference. Wake up America…probably 1% of these transgenders actually have their penis removed. I guess they simply don’t really want to be a female. And who wouldn’t be screwed up in the head living this life. You are not doing your own children any favors….but you are showing the rest of us that you should never have been allowed to reproduce! If you do not have parenting skills….DO NOT have kids.

  7. If the student “almost ran into a wall” then it sounds like the student has other problems. If the Teacher was trying to protect the student from getting hurt & stop IT from “running into a wall” he probably refered to IT by the pronoun IT physically resembles.
    Yrs thr school is violating the rights of thr Teacher. They should be thanking the Teacher for trying to protect IT from the wall!!

  8. Another point in favor of the teacher (besides the fact that HIS rights were trampled upon) is that in the frenzy of a second or two before this transgender person ran into the wall, the teacher, in trying to prevent his/her/it’s injury, most likely just called out the pronoun the teacher was most familiar with.
    Anyway, who in 9th grade really knows what they want to be “when they grow up?” I certainly didn’t! To force another person to call you something you truly are not is an invasion of that person’s First Amendment rights. What does this student’s DNA show him/her to be? If I was a substitute teacher for this school district and forgot this kid’s “pronoun”, would I be fired from the whole school district? This is all absurd and very wrong!

  9. Really? A freshman in high school a transgender? The POS helicopter parental units are probably LBGTXYZ themselves which is of course their choice. What about when it affects the rest of us because they “feel this way” and everyone else is told to deal with it. Sorry folks there are two choices for humans and anything else is made up selfish $hit. Oh and hire that teacher back.

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