The teacher stated that his refusal stems from religious beliefs.
Earlier this week, a high school French teacher by the name of Peter Vlaming was fired after refusing to refer to a transgender student by their preferred pronoun.
The ninth-grade student and his parents reportedly brought the issue to the attention of the West Point Public Schools board in West Point, Virginia after Vlaming neglected to acknowledge the student using the correct pronoun on numerous occasions. The school's Assistant Principal Suzanne Aunspach informed the board that she was made aware of the student's transition during an August meeting with the student’s parents where they revealed that the child had changed their name and wished to be referred to with male pronouns. Aunspach went on to reveal that she met with teachers individually to explain the change to further accommodate the student. Jonathan Hochman, the school's Principal, told the board that Vlaming told him he was not comfortable using male pronouns to address the student citing religious reasons, purportedly adding, “I like the student and miss the female version of the student.”
After a number of complaints, in a unanimous vote, the school board voted to terminate Vlaming. “Mr. Vlaming repeatedly refused to comply with nondiscrimination, nonharassing policies adopted by this board,” they declared in a statement. In response to the termination, Vladmir shared a statement of his own in which he stated that he loves and respects the rights of all his students, but was simply unwilling to waiver from his religious beliefs. “We are here today because a specific worldview is being imposed on me," he said. "Even higher than my family ranks my faith... I could not in good conscience go as far as using male pronouns.”