Students Walkout to Protest Firing of Teacher Who Refused to Use Transgendered Student’s Preferred Gender Pronouns
“I feel like everyone should have the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion as well”
French Teacher Peter Vlaming was fired from West Point High School in West Point, Virginia for refusing to use a transgendered student’s preferred pronouns.
Vlaming attempted to accommodate the student by using her preferred name instead of any pronoun; an accommodation the school board found insufficient. “Mr. Vlaming was recommended for termination due to this insubordination and repeated refusal to comply with directives made to him by multiple WPPS administrators,” said Superintendent Laura Abel.
Less than 24 hours after Vlaming was fired, students held a walkout to protest the firing of Vlaming.
“I feel like everyone should have the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion as well,” said Junior Zachary Gonzalez, speaking to local news.
Student chant “bring him back”. Most of them have been outside for nearly an hour at this point. There’s a mix of high school and middle school students out here right now. #VAnews #NBC12 pic.twitter.com/GOfLCD4PmN
— Karina Bolster (@KarinaNBC12) December 7, 2018
From the Christian Post:
Less than 24 hours after the West Point, Virginia school board unanimously voted to terminate high school French instructor Peter Vlaming, a large group of students walked out of their classes to protest the decision.
“He’s an amazing man,” student Wyatt Pedersen told WWBT News. “I think he really was going with what he believed was right and it’s really unfair that he’s being punished for that, especially in such a dramatic way.”
“I feel like everyone should have the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion as well,” said Junior Zachary Gonzalez.
Forrest Rohde, the West Point High School junior who organized the walkout, emphasized that the protest was not about the transgender student. Rather, he said students took issue with the school board “trying to force the teacher to conform to their ideologies with the threat of removal from the school.”
“The child is going through a lot,” Rohde said. “We shouldn’t be directing this towards her, we should be directing this towards the school board.”
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