Skip to comments.West Point teacher on administrative leave after controversy involving transgender student
Posted on 12/05/2018 7:05:07 PM PST by csvset
WEST POINT, Va. (WRIC) -- Students and parents in West Point, a town roughly an hour east of Richmond, are rallying behind a teacher put on paid administrative leave following a transgender controversy at the school.
A French teacher at West Point High School, Peter Vlaming, is currently on paid administrative leave for not using a student's preferred identity pronoun.
8News reached out to the school for comment but West Point Public Schools cited the incident as "a personnel issue" and declined to respond about the status of Vlaming's case.
Students told 8News that Vlaming won't use male pronouns for a student who now identifies as a boy.
An online petition supporting Mr. Vlaming, which is titled "Don't terminate Mr. Vlaming," has over 1,000 signatures. The petition quotes Vlaming on his thoughts on the incident:
"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."
On Tuesday, 8News spoke with a West Point High School student who says he is also supporting Vlaming.
"I'm just outraged about it," said Forrest Rohde, a West Point High School junior. "He's a really nice guy, he wanted to do everything about his students. He really does care about his students. The thing he will not do is change his ways of thoughts and believing in things just to conform to someone else's ideologies."
Vlaming reportedly called a transgender student "she," but the student wants to be identified as a male.
"The transgender girl has the right to be whatever she wants but just because she has the right doesn't mean we're not obliged to follow her beliefs," Rohde said.
Rohde posted signs all over the school in support of the teacher after hearing Vlaming was put on administrative leave. The signs read: "Facts don't care about your feelings," "#Justice for Vlaming," and "Mr. Vlaming is innocent."
"I see this stuff on the news far away from here," Rohde said, "but when it hits close to home and someone's free speech is being violated, I have to step in and say something about it."
The school confirmed to 8News on Tuesday that Vlaming is currently on paid administrative leave and that Vlaming requested a public hearing:
Mr. Vlaming is currently on paid administrative leave, and West Point Public Schools has followed and will continue to follow Virginia Code and all local policies and procedures relating to licensed staff members. The grievance process, including the purpose/results of a hearing, is governed by Virginia Code.
Because this is a personnel issue, we are unable to provide specific information due to employee and student confidentiality. Mr. Vlaming has requested a public hearing and details regarding our recommendations will become public at that hearing. Until that time, it is important that we not only ensure the integrity of our employment process but also meet our responsibilities regarding safeguarding student confidentiality.
- Abel Laura, West Point Public Schools superintendent
Legal analyst Russ Stone told 8News that it's uncertain whether or not the school has grounds to fire Vlaming.
The school board scheduled the public hearing for Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. at West Point High School.
8News will be at the school board meeting on Thursday to share the latest.
Very proud of teacher and the students supporting the teacher. Bravo. Prayers for teacher.
This teacher is giving his students the best lesson they could ever have.
“The transgender girl has the right to be whatever she wants but just because she has the right doesn’t mean we’re not obliged to follow her beliefs,” Rohde said.
We had a clown who identified as a President for eight years...
"Facts don't care about your feelings, Barry"
That is to say, she's allowed to say that she is male, but we aren't obligated to pretend that's true.
First, I echo your cheers for Mr. Vlaming.
Second, I’m glad this is West Point, VA. I’m glad this isn’t (yet) an issue at the more famous West Point.
I had the same issue with a female to male student several years ago. I just called the person in question by their last name. Any pronouns were also their last name.
I was told it was unnatural to do so. I simply smiled and asked, “Unnatural?”
They left me alone after that.
The student is mentally ill and should seek professional help.
The question being can the government compel an individual to say something they don't believe to be true.
The teacher sounds like a fan of Jordan Peterson.
The pronoun “freak” works for me.
Here in the United States they don't even have to pass a law to destroy peoples' careers.
Jordan Peterson on his fight against Canada's Bill C-16:
A show trial on use of gender pronouns. Coming to a US state/city near you:
Exactly! The emperor has no clothes! Why does society have to cater to the whims of a mentally ill person?
Transgenders are insane by definition!
Every single person who supports Mr. Vlaming had better be there. That's the only way he'll get a fair shake.
This is exactly what free speech means. This is a government punishing a man for what he said.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.