Fired School Teacher’s Day In Court: School Can’t Compel Him to Use Preferred Pronouns


If you’ve forgotten who Peter Vlaming is, he’s a French Teacher in Virginia who (in 2018) was removed for refusing to address a Transgender student by their preferred gender/pronoun. Vlaming was accused of bullying and discrimination and let go. He sued on religious and free speech grounds.

And he’s winning!

In a gratifying win for religious freedom and free speech, the Virginia Supreme Court concluded Thursday that embattled Virginia high school teacher Peter Vlaming, who had been fired over his refusal to use a student’s preferred pronouns because of his religious faith, was protected by the free exercise and free speech clauses of the Virginia Constitution.

The majority decision, which was written by Justice D. Arthur Kelsey, is a landmark victory for freedom of conscience and expression in the state. In its opinion, the court held that religious exercise is protected under the Virginia Constitution unless it threatens the public safety or order.

The case returns to the trial court to address “constitutional, statutory and breach-of-contract claims” with the State Supreme Court ruling attached. A ruling that makes the school’s claims impossible to defend. It based his termination on the presumption of what amounts to bullying, framing his beliefs as a threat, but the court tore that up and threw it away.