He says his religion prohibited him from treating the student with respect.
In casual conversation or in the hallway, he would use the wrong one when referring to the student. The student eventually dropped Vlaming’s class. He was then fired for insubordination last October. Now he’s suing.
The lawsuit itself is a tough read in part because attorneys for conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom exhibit the same transphobia throughout the document. They pretend that the student flipped a switch — that this is merely a case of a girl becoming a boy, then demanding everyone else play along.
Among the “facts” listed in the lawsuit are “The student is objectively female” and “The student subjectively identifies as male.” That’s not how any of those things work. It’s also a weak argument to say a teacher’s religion prevents him from creating a welcoming environment for the student. It’s hardly an undue burden to ask a conservative Christian teacher to call a student by the right pronoun. Accidents are one thing; this is a complete refusal to acknowledge the student’s basic humanity.
All the student asked was for Vlaming to stop using feminine pronouns in reference to him since they were inaccurate. He refused to do it because his faith-based ignorance mattered more than the student’s well-being