(CBS News) – A Virginia teacher who was fired last year for refusing to to refer to a transgender student by male pronouns is now suing the school board that unanimously voted to terminate him. The teacher, Peter Vlaming, taught French at West Point High School for nearly seven years.
Vlaming filed his suit in state court on Monday, according to CBS News Richmond affiliate WTVR.
Vlaming allgedly refused to call a ninth grade student by the male pronouns “he” and “him” because he considered it a “lie,” principal Jonathan Hochman told the school board last year. The student had transitioned and used male pronouns.
Although he refused to use the proper pronouns, Vlaming said he agreed to refer to the student by his new name, citing his devout Christian faith.
He was ordered by school administrators numerous times to use male pronouns when referring to the student, superintendent Laura Abel said. When Vlaming refused, Abel recommended termination. “By failing to follow the directive he was therefore discriminating and creating a hostile environment,” Abel stated, according to WTVR.
Now, Vlaming is suing the school board for breach of contract and for violating his rights under the Virginia Constitution and commonwealth law, according to his suit.
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