"He works hard to make his students feel welcomed", ADF said of Vlaming. He even used the student's preferred masculine name and was willing to avoid using pronouns in the student's presence. And, officials said, the teacher could not be allowed to treat the transgender student differently.
Then, on October 31, 2018, his second-year French college students wore virtual-reality goggles and walked across the classroom.
On Oct. 31, 2018, however, when his French students were walking around the classroom wearing virtual-reality goggles, the transgender student was about to crash, and Vlaming shouted out "don't let her hit the wall".
Vlaming testified staunch via the general public hearing that he respects all his students and had attempted to decide up to the backside of the drawback essentially based on "mutual tolerance".
"Peter went out of his way to accommodate this student as he does all his students; his school fired him because he wouldn't contradict his core beliefs", said attorney Caleb Dalton of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is representing Vlaming.
Now he's suing the school district, saying his religious and free speech rights were violated.
Vlaming was sacked from his post in December for refusing to refer to a student as "he" and "him" as the child was transitioning from female to male.
West Point is about 40 miles east of Richmond.
He's not the first teacher to receive some scrutiny for refusing to refer to a transgender student by their preferred pronouns: A math teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, faced reprimands from his principal in August for doing the same thing. Final fall, a professor at Shawnee State College in OH stated he was "formally charged" for his opposition.
West Point High School said in a statement after Vlaming was sacked: "We do not and can not tolerate discrimination in any form, or actions that create a hostile environment for any member of our school family".
It happened after an unidentified "ninth-grader came out as a transgender male" last summer. He said he was sacked because he avoided using pronouns all together when referring to the student, who was transitioning to male at the time.
In the summertime of 2018, a transgender scholar at West Level Excessive College in West Level, Virginia, had transitioned, asking his French instructor to check with him with masculine pronouns: he, him, his. According to his filing, which refers to the student as female throughout, he used the student's preferred male name and avoided using pronouns altogether. In his French class, he always calls his students by the name they choose.
"West Point Public Schools' primary focus is on students, staff, and instruction, and we will continue to direct our energy toward maintaining a high-quality learning environment in our schools", the spokesperson said.
Citing policies against creating a hostile learning environment, administrators eventually told Vlaming that he would face disciplinary action if he didn't comply. The next day, he was suspended. "By failing to comply with the directive he was for that reason discriminating and producing a hostile setting", Abel stated, according to WTVR. And the student had expressed that.