Thursday, October 3, 2019

A pronoun schmuck is suing

“There is no debate or uncertainty where it counts: Medical science.”
Peter Vlaming
Peter Vlaming
via West Point VA H.S.
With the help of Alliance Defending Freedom (an anti-LGBTQ hate group), French teach, Peter Vlaming, is suing his former employer, the West Point (Virginia) School Board. Vlaming was suspended nearly a year ago and ultimately terminated for refusing to comply with school district policies requiring the use of gender-correct pronouns.

I wrote about Peter Vlaming in December, 2018. Vlaming was a 47-year-old French teacher at West Point High School in Virginia. By all accounts, Vlaming was an effective and well-liked. Vlaming steadfastly refused to use gender correct pronouns with a trans boy in his class.

In their complaint ADF includes all of the correspondence and meeting notes. The school employed progressive discipline starting with a suspension with pay. Vlaming, who has the intellect of foot powder, simply refused to comply with district policy. So now, a year since he was first suspended he is solving this matter the American way — He sued in Virginia circuit court.

On Wednesday I sent a polite email to J. Caleb Dalton, Vlaming's lawyer at ADF to get some answers to a few questions. I have not received the courtesy of a reply. Mr. Dalton, by the way, is a graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University School of Law.

In their complaint seeking $1 million (mazel tov), ADF claims that there was no written policy. They were thoughtful enough to provide the policy that does not exist as an exhibit.

In any event the complaint is a cornucopia of conservative Christian angst including compelled speech, religious freedom and slain puppy dogs. In essence Vlaming is claiming that his religious beliefs constitute truth and he should not be forced to lie. I happen to believe that driving at 80 per achieves ocular collisioning of aligned planetary effusions but the cop wouldn't listen and gave me a speeding ticket.

ADF is doing a tap dance. They cannot claim religious discrimination because that would require a right to sue letter from the EEOC. Something they do not seem to have.

Supreme Court rulings are binding on state courts in constitutional issues. Eventually, someone representing the school board is going to bring up Garcetti v. Ceballos. The Supreme Court ruled that government employees do not have First Amendment protections unless the speech is as a private citizen. Vlaming's local lawyer, Shawn A. Voyles, is also a Regent U. graduate.

Most odious in the complaint is the notion that the sexuality of children is a public controversy. Thus Vlaming is being forced to choose sides in an unsettled debate. It is a controversy that does not exist outside of religious circles. The existence of transgender people conflicts with scripture. That is not a controversy. There is no debate or uncertainty where it counts: Medical science.

State courts can move at a snail's pace. I expect that the school board will move to dismiss. The legal issues and the pace of litigation is far less important than the fact that some people claim a right to mistreat transgender children. That is both maddening and sickening.

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