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ADF: Compelled speech behind VA teacher's lawsuit

ADF: Compelled speech behind VA teacher's lawsuit


ADF: Compelled speech behind VA teacher's lawsuit

Pete Vlaming, a former high school teacher, has a request for the Virginia Supreme Court: Defend his First Amendment-protected right to not be forced by a public school to say things he doesn’t believe.

"Peter Vlaming was French teacher at West Point High School for over seven years,” says Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Cale Dalton, “and he was fired not for anything that he did, but for what he wouldn't say.”

A third-year student in Vlaming’s class was a female student who returned in 2017 and identified as a male. The teacher was instructed by the school board to refer to her as “he,” even when the student was not around, but he refused to do so and was fired in 2018.

Dalton, Caleb (ADF) Dalton

“So, because of that,” Dalton says, "[Vlaming] filed a lawsuit in state court, here in Virginia, and he'll be before the Virginia Supreme Court asking them to take his case."

The lawsuit is Vlaming v West Point School Board.

Dalton tells AFN that numerous U.S. Supreme Court rulings have upheld freed speech and the First Amendment, including inside a public school classroom.

Vlaming is seeking a legal victory that shows "tolerance is a two-way street," the attorney says.