WEST POINT, Va. (WRIC) — The West Point teacher who was fired for not using a student’s preferred identity pronoun, will now have his case heard before the Virginia Supreme Court.
The West Point School Board voted unanimously to fire Peter Vlaming, a former French teacher at the school, after a board meeting back in December of 2018.
Vlaming was fired from his 6-year tenure at the school for not using male pronouns when referring to a student who was transitioning to male.
“My religious faith dictates that I am to love and respect everyone, whether I agree with them or not. Because we are all made in God’s image,” Vlaming said, reading from a prepared opening statement during a public hearing before he was fired by the school board in 2018.
“I am also aware of, and agree, with speech limits that are placed on public school teachers, concerning matters of religious faith. I represent the state in my role as a public school teacher and therefore speak with a certain authority. That authority is not to be used to promote any one specific worldview, and I don’t. However, we are here today because a specific worldview is being imposed upon me,” he continued.
The Virginia Supreme Court agreed Thursday, March 3 to hear Flaming’s case.
Flemings case had been previously appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys— a conservative Christian-led, “non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life” –representing Vlaming after the Circuit Court for the County of King William dismissed the case.
Vlaming’s lawyer previously told 8News, “Public schools have no business compelling people to express ideological beliefs that they don’t hold. This isn’t just about a pronoun; this is about forcing someone to endorse an ideology under threat of losing his job. That’s neither legal nor constitutional.”
A date for the Virginia Supreme Court hearing has not yet been set.