Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Virginia Teacher Fired for Not Using Compelled Speech

 

“‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day. ‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first–verdict afterward.’ ‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly.” — Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

In the latest installment of Leftist agenda-driven stuff-and-nonsense, the school board for West Point High School in Virginia, by a unanimous (5-0) decision, has fired French teacher Peter Vlaming for not using compelled speech and for “misidentifying” a female student who identifies as a male as a female. In a statement following the board’s decision, the Superintendent stated:

“The School Board has policies that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity. As detailed during the course of the public hearing, Mr. Vlaming was recommended for termination due to this insubordination and repeated refusal to comply with directives made to him by multiple WPPS administrators. As superintendent, it is my responsibility to enforcement board policy, and due to Mr. Vlaming’s non-compliance I therefore recommended termination.”

Forget the stark reality of the situation in a universe where a tree is a tree, a rock is a rock, a dog is a dog, and a woman is a woman. We live in a time where many words have lost their meanings altogether. Fascists really consider themselves empathetic liberals. Self-proclaimed anti-fascists (excused by CNN anchors) will crack your skull with a baseball bat because you stand for principles like free speech and tolerance. In this postmodern, neo-Marxist wonderland up is down, in is out, female is male, male is female, and occasionally sometimes male and sometimes female depending on one’s feelings and moods at the time. Mean-spirited and unfeeling biological truth be damned! In the interest of full disclosure, I want you to know that I have always identified as a male, so whatever I write can be dismissed entirely because I am part of the dominant patriarchy that, for thousands of years, has oppressed women and women who believe that they are men.

Verdict first. Trial after. At this writing, there is no word yet, whether Mr. Vlaming and his attorney will sue the school district for wrongful termination and violating his First Amendment right of free speech. The fact that Vlaming has counsel is probably an indication that a lawsuit is in the offing. I certainly hope that they do sue, even if a win in a court with financial penalties is a temporary loss to Virginia taxpayers. If a lawsuit is filed and if it works its way up to the Supreme Court, there is a remote, infinitesimal chance, that a microscopic portion of this post-modern, Leftist compelled speech idiocy will perhaps diminish…slightly. (I’m out of qualifiers.)

No word as yet, whether the school board will force Mr. Vlaming to bake a cake for the student he so wrongfully discriminated against as a way to apologize for his outrageous anti-transgender bigotry. He wasn’t teaching in Colorado…so, there is that.

There are 27 comments.

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  1. Dorrk Inactive

    From the article:

    “That was in fact discriminatory because all the other students were being used pronouns, but this student was not being used pronouns,” Superintendent Laura Abel testified.

    And the teacher got fired? These are the people in charge of education and, now, policing “correct” language.

    When I worked in community journalism we would clean up grammatical issues in quotes, so as not to make our subjects sound illiterate, as speaking off the cuff sometimes results in complicated sentences. But I’m fine with this journalist leaving that statement just the way the superintendent made it.

    • #1
    • December 7, 2018, at 1:14 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  2. El Colonel Contributor

    Forget it , Jake. It’s Chinatown.

    • #2
    • December 7, 2018, at 1:21 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. Blondie Thatcher

    And yet another reason NOT to send your children to a government school. 

    • #3
    • December 7, 2018, at 1:29 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  4. Freeven Member
    Freeven Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Brian Watt:

    In a statement following the board’s decision, the Superintendent stated:

    “The School Board has policies that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity…

    I’m not sure I’m seeing the discrimination (in the sense it’s being alleged).

    Ironically, the teacher is following school board policy in the other sense of the word (i.e. discerning differences between things). The policy explicitly prohibits him from allowing the student’s gender identity to determine pronoun usage.

    • #4
    • December 7, 2018, at 3:02 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Freeven (View Comment):

    Brian Watt:

    In a statement following the board’s decision, the Superintendent stated:

    “The School Board has policies that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity…

    I’m not sure I’m seeing the discrimination (in the sense it’s being alleged).

    Ironically, the teacher is following school board policy in the other sense of the word (i.e. discerning differences between things). The policy explicitly prohibits him from allowing the student’s gender identity to determine pronoun usage.

    Good grief, man (…or is it, woman?) – stop using logic!! This is about feelings!!

    On a serious note, isn’t the onus on the school district to show how it is that gender is separate from biological sexual identity? What is the scientific basis upon which they are declaring that an individual can identify as something that they are not and therefore entitled to special treatment? Clearly, if they have no evidence or proof to support the presumed validity of transgendered identity, then the public school is essential espousing a claim based on faith alone…and that runs afoul of the establishment clause because the public school is promoting a specific belief system and punishing those who won’t adhere to that belief.

    On a related note, if students claim that they are Greek or Hindu or Norse deities and that teachers are not permitted to speak to them unless spoken to, not establish eye contact, and must treat them reverentially by prostrating themselves whenever they are in their presence – how is this different than the claim of the transgender student?

    • #5
    • December 7, 2018, at 3:51 PM PST
    • 16 likes
  6. Spin Inactive
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A – I learn now that something I’d always taken for granted is not true. You CAN fire an employee of the government!

    B – This is pure nonsense. Up is now down. Right is now wrong. God help us all…

    • #6
    • December 7, 2018, at 3:52 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  7. Ray Kujawa Coolidge

    I disagree that what the teacher did constituted discrimination against the student and therefore created a hostile learning environment. The teacher was there to teach, the student was there to learn. The student made an issue of their own mal-perception of themselves in the classroom setting and ultimately made the learning environment hostile for the teacher. It is probably better for the teacher to separate themselves from that work situation than be compelled to daily utter what to him is an utter falsehood. To accept a falsehood as if it is truth undermines the entire spirit of learning. It makes a farce of it. The decision of the officials was very much a knee-jerk reaction. They haven’t really thought through from all points of view with regard to this subject and what represents hostility and discrimination. What do they really think are the implications of their espoused policy of prohibiting ‘discrimination on the basis of gender identity’? I think they are driven partially out of fear of making an incorrect decision that would result in a very expensive lawsuit and result in not just one termination, but multiple on their school board. More expensive to them personally than letting one teacher go.

    • #7
    • December 7, 2018, at 7:14 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    The West Point, VA school board is a stirring endorsement for home schooling.

    • #8
    • December 7, 2018, at 8:03 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  9. Pony Convertible Member

    I’m sure the teacher’s union will back him, and go on strike (snark).

    • #9
    • December 8, 2018, at 4:17 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  10. Boss Mongo Member

    Spin (View Comment):

    A – I learn now that something I’d always taken for granted is not true. You CAN fire an employee of the government!

    B – This is pure nonsense. Up is now down. Right is now wrong. God help us all…

    You CAN fire an employee of the government!

    Ah, but the teach isn’t federal; the firewall stands.

    • #10
    • December 8, 2018, at 8:07 AM PST
    • 1 like
  11. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Humpty’s speech would have been better as an intro.

    • #11
    • December 8, 2018, at 2:44 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This is where civil rights politics have gone to in the 21st century? Really?

    • #12
    • December 8, 2018, at 3:00 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Joseph Eagar Member
    Joseph Eagar Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    A – I learn now that something I’d always taken for granted is not true. You CAN fire an employee of the government!

    B – This is pure nonsense. Up is now down. Right is now wrong. God help us all…

    You CAN fire an employee of the government!

    Ah, but the teach isn’t federal; the firewall stands.

    State and local civil servants are usually more, not less, difficult to fire than federal ones.

    • #13
    • December 8, 2018, at 3:02 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    A – I learn now that something I’d always taken for granted is not true. You CAN fire an employee of the government!

    B – This is pure nonsense. Up is now down. Right is now wrong. God help us all…

    You CAN fire an employee of the government!

    Ah, but the teach isn’t federal; the firewall stands.

    State and local civil servants are usually more, not less, difficult to fire than federal ones.

    Agreed. State and local unions have more power than federal ones.

    • #14
    • December 8, 2018, at 3:10 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Skyler Coolidge

    I doubt a law suit would be successful. This is one of the many motivations I had for changing careers to be self-employed. An employer has the right to control speech of their workers. Of course! That’s hardly debatable.

    The real question is whether they should control this method of speech. It becomes grayer. The fact is that many mentally disturbed people are trying to become surgical transvestites, or just play pretend regarding their identity. There is now wide spread progressive opinion that these people should choose their pronouns. The school is at great risk.

    The answer, as it has been for generations, is to abolish public schools. We should not grant the government the power to educate our children. We have seen a decrease in the value of education to laughable levels. We have seen curricula modified to discredit the greatness of our nation and its values. Parents would never tolerate it were they able to move their children from school to school.

    I had a lot to say about this in 2003.

    • #15
    • December 8, 2018, at 4:15 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  16. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Best case scenario is that these types of things prompt students into a redpill moment and they realize they are being lied to in many ways by the school system. Worst case scenario is that while we are fighting over pronouns, China takes everything we have in exchange for our use of their re-education camps.

    • #16
    • December 8, 2018, at 5:06 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I doubt a law suit would be successful. This is one of the many motivations I had for changing careers to be self-employed. An employer has the right to control speech of their workers. Of course! That’s hardly debatable.

    The real question is whether they should control this method of speech. It becomes grayer. The fact is that many mentally disturbed people are trying to become surgical transvestites, or just play pretend regarding their identity. There is now wide spread progressive opinion that these people should choose their pronouns. The school is at great risk.

    The answer, as it has been for generations, is to abolish public schools. We should not grant the government the power to educate our children. We have seen a decrease in the value of education to laughable levels. We have seen curricula modified to discredit the greatness of our nation and its values. Parents would never tolerate it were they able to move their children from school to school.

    I had a lot to say about this in 2003.

    There is a claim that Vlaming acted in a discriminatory manner on the basis of gender identity. This rises to the level of defamation and certainly has the potential of damaging the teacher’s reputation and making it difficult to be employed by another school – even in another state in the Union. Did he swear a loyalty oath that certain gender pronouns must be used in addressing students under threat of termination if not done? It doesn’t appear that that is the case.

    If taken to court, I believe the onus is on the school board to prove a) how he discriminated; and b) what the actual gender identity is of the student in question to demonstrate how it is he discriminated. It can easily be proved that the young woman is indeed a young woman and not a young man and therefore the way Vlaming addressed her was accurate and truthful. Has the Commonwealth of Virginia made a declaration that gender identity is a social construct defined by each individual? The school has terminated Vlaming’s employment for speaking the truth. Further, that school’s unstated policy forces teachers, under threat of termination, to articulate falsehoods. I am not aware that the Commonwealth of Virginia or the U.S. Constitution states that it is unlawful to address someone by their actual biological gender identity; or that Virginia has passed a law that certain compelled speech must be used. 

    I think unless this idiocy is challenged in the courts then this insidious ideology will become more pervasive. The lawsuit may not initially be successful, but to simply accept the termination further emboldens these new fascists. At some point, someone has to take a stand and say enough is enough.

    • #17
    • December 8, 2018, at 5:33 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  18. Ontheleftcoast Member

    El Colonel (View Comment):

    Forget it , Jake. It’s Chinatown.

    China Town? Looney Tunes, and pronoun trouble can be dangerous.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e1hZGDaqIw

    On the bright side, this is not a new problem in the USA.

    Mark Twain:

    In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made School Boards.

    – Following the Equator; Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar

    And, particularly prescient, Ambrose Bierce:

    GOVERNMENT, n. A modern Chronos who devours his own children. The priesthood are charged with the duty of preparing them for his tooth.

     

    • #18
    • December 8, 2018, at 6:34 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Skyler Coolidge

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    I think unless this idiocy is challenged in the courts then this insidious ideology will become more pervasive. The lawsuit may not initially be successful, but to simply accept the termination further emboldens these new fascists. At some point, someone has to take a stand and say enough is enough.

    Perhaps, but I’m convinced the result would be the opposite of common sense and we’re all screwed.

    • #19
    • December 8, 2018, at 6:38 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Knotwise the Poet Member

    “Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4.”

    – 1984

    • #20
    • December 9, 2018, at 1:18 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Pony Convertible Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    The answer, as it has been for generations, is to abolish public schools. We should not grant the government the power to educate our children. We have seen a decrease in the value of education to laughable levels. We have seen curricula modified to discredit the greatness of our nation and its values. Parents would never tolerate it were they able to move their children from school to school.

    That is the truth. We shouldn’t be surprised that our children like big government, when we educate them in government schools.

    • #21
    • December 9, 2018, at 4:07 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. Full Size Tabby Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I doubt a law suit would be successful. This is one of the many motivations I had for changing careers to be self-employed. An employer has the right to control speech of their workers. Of course! That’s hardly debatable.

    The real question is whether they should control this method of speech. It becomes grayer. The fact is that many mentally disturbed people are trying to become surgical transvestites, or just play pretend regarding their identity. There is now wide spread progressive opinion that these people should choose their pronouns. The school is at great risk.

    The answer, as it has been for generations, is to abolish public schools. We should not grant the government the power to educate our children. We have seen a decrease in the value of education to laughable levels. We have seen curricula modified to discredit the greatness of our nation and its values. Parents would never tolerate it were they able to move their children from school to school.

    I had a lot to say about this in 2003.

    Yes, an employer can control the speech of an employee. But, in this case the employer is a government entity. The courts have said that a government employer has less right to control the speech of an employee than does a private employer. 

    • #22
    • December 9, 2018, at 7:21 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Skyler Coolidge

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    I doubt a law suit would be successful. This is one of the many motivations I had for changing careers to be self-employed. An employer has the right to control speech of their workers. Of course! That’s hardly debatable.

    The real question is whether they should control this method of speech. It becomes grayer. The fact is that many mentally disturbed people are trying to become surgical transvestites, or just play pretend regarding their identity. There is now wide spread progressive opinion that these people should choose their pronouns. The school is at great risk.

    The answer, as it has been for generations, is to abolish public schools. We should not grant the government the power to educate our children. We have seen a decrease in the value of education to laughable levels. We have seen curricula modified to discredit the greatness of our nation and its values. Parents would never tolerate it were they able to move their children from school to school.

    I had a lot to say about this in 2003.

    Yes, an employer can control the speech of an employee. But, in this case the employer is a government entity. The courts have said that a government employer has less right to control the speech of an employee than does a private employer.

    Courts have also made exceptions for schools for almost everything. The courts have said that schools can control behavior outside of school activities. I dare say they will rule that a school can control a teacher’s speech. That would be easy for them. 

    • #23
    • December 9, 2018, at 7:43 AM PST
    • Like
  24. Hang On Member
    Hang On Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    When will the school be sued because a student imagines he/she/whatever is a straight A student, and to deny them the reality is discrimination?

    • #24
    • December 9, 2018, at 3:05 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hang On (View Comment):
    a straight A student,

    Fraught language.

    • #25
    • December 9, 2018, at 3:33 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Hang On Member
    Hang On Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    a straight A student,

    Fraught language.

    Intended.

    • #26
    • December 10, 2018, at 7:00 AM PST
    • 1 like
  27. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):
    a straight A student,

    Fraught language.

    Intended.

    Sorry. I should have caught that.

    • #27
    • December 10, 2018, at 2:51 PM PST
    • 1 like

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