The Criminalization of Speech: Part 2

The story is from ten months ago, but it’s another example of the criminalization of speech:

Virginia high school teacher fired for refusing to use transgender student’s new pronouns

By Graham Moomaw | Richmond Times-Dispatch | December 6, 2018

WEST POINT — A Virginia high school teacher was fired Thursday for refusing to use a transgender student’s new pronouns, a case believed to be the first of its kind in the state.

After a four-hour hearing, the West Point School Board voted 5-0 to terminate Peter Vlaming, a French teacher at West Point High School who resisted administrators’ orders to use male pronouns to refer to a ninth-grade student who had undergone a gender transition. The board met in closed session for nearly an hour before the vote.


Further down, we see that Mr Vlaming did not “misgender” the student by using the pronouns with which the student disagreed, but chose his words carefully to avoid using gendered pronouns at all.

The student’s family informed the school system of the transition over the summer. Vlaming said he had the student in class the year before when the student identified as female.

Vlaming agreed to use the student’s new, male name. But he tried to avoid using any pronouns — he or him, and she or her — when referring to the student. The student said that made him feel uncomfortable and singled out.

In other words, Mr Vlaming did not deny the ‘transgender’ student’s chosen ‘gender,’ but declined to affirm it. The teacher did not say to this ‘gender confused’ student that she is female, but simply declined to say to her that she is male. He apparently slipped up one time, on October 31, 2018:

Witnesses described one pronoun “slip-up” during a class activity on Halloween when the student was using a virtual reality headset. The student was about to run into a wall, and Vlaming told others to stop “her.”

Mr Vlaming informed his superiors that his Christian faith prevented him from using male pronouns for a student he knew to be female. This means that the West Point School Board chose the concerns of a mentally ill student over the Constitutional rights of freedom of religion and speech of an employee.


And now, Mr Vlaming will have his day in court:

Virginia teacher sues over firing for refusing to use transgender student’s new pronouns

By Justin Mattingly | Richmond Times-Dispatch | October 1, 2019

A Virginia teacher who was fired last year after refusing to use a transgender student’s new pronouns is suing the school board that fired him.

Peter Vlaming, a Williamsburg resident who taught French at West Point High School, was fired in December 2018 after resisting administrators’ orders to use male pronouns when referring to a freshman student who had undergone a gender transition.

“Mr. Vlaming could not violate his conscience,” a lawsuit filed Monday in King William County Circuit Court states. “And it cost him his job.”

There’s much more at the original, but the reporting newspaper, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which previously had a nominally conservative editorial bent,¹ went along with the cockamamie notion that the ‘transgendered’ are the sex they claim to be rather than their objective biological sex, using male pronouns to refer to the student in question. The student’s identity was not published by the paper.

New York City’s Commission on Human Rights recently declared that the use of the phrase “illegal alien” or threats to call immigration officials on someone, in business communication, could result in a $250,000 fine; the same is true if a business or employee uses the correct pronouns rather than the ones preferred by the recipient.


We are reaching the point in which the force of government is being used to force people to violate their religious beliefs and consciences, and being forced to just plain lie. Every bird, every reptile, and every mammal can tell the differences between males and females of their own species, but liberal human beings have managed to become so educated that they have lost this ability in themselves.

More, they wish to compel everyone else to go along with such silliness, and once the force of government — and the firing of Mr Vlaming by the West Point Public Schools is an exercise of government power — and the police power of the state have been added to this, it ceases to become just silliness but an actual threat to the rights of individuals. This must be resisted, this must be stopped!
¹ – The Richmond Times-Dispatch endorsed every Republican presidential nominee from 1980 through 2012, but in 2016, the editors endorsed Libertarian Party nominee Governor Gary Johnson (R-NM) over Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
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