The battle over political correctness has claimed another victim. A high school teacher was fired, Thursday, after he refused to address a student with the student’s “preferred pronoun.” The school board, citing what ABC News calls “nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies,” fired their French teacher for refusing to call “a female-to-male transgender student by their preferred pronoun.”
Even ABC’s coverage of the incident is problematic. Their is a plural pronoun, and the student at the heart of this incident isn’t plural. Yet officials in Virginia, hoping to avoid any more controversy, opted to fire the teacher.
Officials at West Point High School outside of Richmond released a statement on their termination of Peter Vlaming’s contract: “After thoughtful deliberation, the School Board voted to support the superintendent’s recommendation. The School Board has adopted policies and tonight we upheld these policies.”
The vote was unanimous.
The matter, as the school board clearly anticipates, may be heading to court. After their initial response to the termination, the school board refused further comment, citing, “the potential for future litigation.”
“Vlaming said religious reasons prevented him from referring to the student as male,” ABC writes. “He 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.”
Shortly after news of the controversy broke, other students wrote in support of the teacher, and even have circulated a petition they have titled “Don’t terminate Mr. Vlaming.”
The petition even quotes Vlaming position: “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,” Vlaming added. “I was informed that any further instances of using female pronouns would be grounds for termination.”
“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,” Superintendent Laura Abel said in a statement. “As superintendent, it is my responsibility to enforce board policy, and due to Mr. Vlaming’s non-compliance I therefore recommended termination.”