Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has joined the legal battle on the side of a high school French teacher who was fired for not utilizing male pronouns for a female student. In a short submitted on May 24, Miyares stated the general public school district “transgresses Virginia’s longstanding constitutional protections” when it penalized an instructor for “refusing to express a belief he does not hold, and that is contrary to his faith.”
The case included Peter Vlaming, who has actually been teaching French at West Point High School in King William County, Virginia, because 2012. Near completion of the 2017-2018 academic year, a female trainee at Vlaming’s French class began to recognize as male and wanted to be described with male pronouns.
In an effort to not draw undesirable attention to the lady, Vlaming asked his whole French class to choose brand-new French names and prevented utilizing third-person pronouns to describe any trainee throughout class, according to the complaint(pdf). Whenever the girl was present, Vlaming attempted to just resolve the trainee utilizing her brand-new masculine-sounding names, consisting of an English name and a French name for French class.
The student’s mother, unhappy with the accomodation, required that Vlaming “leave his principles and beliefs out of this” and describe her kid as a male. The school administrators likewise decided that Vlaming’s non-use of pronouns was insufficient, and he ought to rather utilize the student’s preferred pronouns in any and every context.
Vlaming, who holds that “sex is biologically fixed in each person and cannot be changed regardless of a person’s feeling or desires,” both as a clinical truth and a spiritual belief, turned down the demands. He was put on leave by the school board in November 2018 and after that fired at the completion of the year.
In September 2019, Vlaming took legal action against the West Point School Board, which he stated breached federal and state laws by engaging him to reveal concepts that oppose his faiths. The Virginia Supreme Court concurred this March to review the case after it was dismissed by the King County Circuit Court.
Miyares wrote in assistance of Vlaming’s case, keeping in mind that Virginia uses more comprehensive defenses of residents’ religious liberty than the federal government.
The Republican chief law officer pointed to the Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which basically specifies that the federal government should show a “compelling interest” to not accommodate the free exercise of one’s faiths.
In Vlaming’s case, according to Miyares, the school board failed to reveal that requiring the French instructor to utilize a student’s preferred pronouns advances any engaging state interest. He even more argued that, even if there was certainly an engaging interest, the school board failed to reveal why it could not be advanced under the compromise the instructor had already made.
Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group representing Vlaming in the event, invited the move.
“Peter wasn’t fired for something he said; he was fired for something he couldn’t say,” said ADF Senior Counsel Chris Schandevel. “As a teacher, Peter was passionate about the subject he taught, he was well-liked by his students, and he did his best to accommodate their needs and requests. But Peter could not in good conscience speak messages that he doesn’t believe to be true.”
H/T The Epoch Times