A large group of students walked out of their classes Friday to protest the firing of a teacher who refused to refer to a female gender-confused student as male.
The West Point, Virginia school board’s unanimous vote to terminate high school French instructor Peter Vlaming proved to be unpopular, and less than 24 hours after issuing their decision, students rallied to show their support, chanting, “bring him back.”
Student chant “bring him back”. Most of them have been outside for nearly an hour at this point. There’s a mix of high school and middle school students out here right now. #VAnews #NBC12 pic.twitter.com/GOfLCD4PmN
— Karina Bolster (@KarinaNBC12) December 7, 2018
“He’s an amazing man,” student Wyatt Pedersen told WWBT News. “I think he really was going with what he believed was right and it’s really unfair that he’s being punished for that, especially in such a dramatic way.”
“The school board is trying to force the teacher to conform to their ideologies with the threat of removal from the school,” said Forrest Rohde, the West Point High School junior who organized the walkout.
The protesting students made it clear that their protest was not about the transgender student; they blame the school board for Vlaming’s termination, according to the report.
“The child is going through a lot,” Rohde continued. “We shouldn’t be directing this towards her, we should be directing this towards the school board.”
The fired teacher’s attorney, Shawn Voyles, noted that the peaceful tone of the student walkout contrasted with the treatment that students received from the school administration when they had previously attempted to support the besieged teacher.
“We are glad to see that West Point Public Schools permitted this peaceful protest today,” said Voyles in a statement. “That was not the case in November when the students began circulating a petition to return my client to his job. As a student testified at the hearing…the high school principal actually confiscated the petition. It unfortunately took a threat of legal action by a student to have it returned.”
“Good for them,” tweeted a supporter of the student walkout. “Gender ideology is being sold as being progressive but its not. There is big money behind it, pushing it as woke, but it hurts women, gays and lesbians … Kids can be gender non-conforming without fad labels & pharma.”
Good for them. gender ideology is being sold as being progressive but its not. there is big money behind it, pushing it as woke, but it hurts women, gays and lesbians. find out more *this link) https://t.co/BEL5okxwk7 Kids can be gender non-conforming withoutfad labels & pharma pic.twitter.com/wFBy65r5nB
— Ester for sanity (liberals_for_sanity on patreon) (@EsterforSanity) December 8, 2018
“Just shows the whole ‘thinking of the youths, respecting their choices’ narrative is only for the small minority of confused kids,” tweeted another. “Majority opposed to this madness and what it’s doing to their education and lives don’t matter in this.”
Some responded to the student walkout by identifying the underlying issues surrounding the teacher’s firing.
“The people that should be fired,” tweeted O’Catholic, “are the ones that are allowing this child abuse to perpetuate in our public schools–either out of ignorance or a disordered socio-political transsexual agenda.”
The people that should be fired are the ones that are allowing this child abuse to perpetuate in our public schools–either out of ignorance or a disordered socio-political transsexual agenda. The @AmerMedicalAssn & @APA need some intestinal fortitude & speak out against this.
— O'Catholic (@OCatholic) December 8, 2018
“We need to take this opportunity to call out the poisoning of children’s minds with gender ideology that tells them their bodies are bad and all they are is stereotypes and the clothing choices they make,” tweeted Reclaim the body. “This is out of control & we need to stand up to the trans lobby’s bullying.”