Connect with us

Virginia

Va. advocacy groups urge state Supreme Court to uphold teacher firing

Peter Vlaming fired over refusal to use student’s correct pronouns

Published

on

Virginia Supreme Court (Photo by sainaniritu/Bigstock)

Equality Virginia and a number of other advocacy groups on Wednesday asked the Virginia Supreme Court to uphold the West Point School Board’s decision to fire a teacher who refused to refer to a student by pronouns that corresponded with their gender identity.

The West Point School Board in 2018 fired French teacher Peter Vlaming after he refused to use male pronouns when referring to a student who was transitioning from female to male.

The anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom represents Vlaming.

The King William County Circuit Court dismissed Vlaming’s case. The Virginia Supreme Court in March agreed to consider it.

“Transgender and nonbinary students, when compared to their cisgender peers, face physical abuse, bullying, and extreme emotional harm at higher rates, which impact their well-being and education,” said Equality Virginia Executive Director Narissa S. Rahaman in a press release that announced the filing of the amicus brief to the Supreme Court. “The West Point School Board’s antidiscrimination and anti-harassment policies aim to counteract and prevent those harms. We know that transgender students thrive when they are supported by an inclusive school environment, which includes using their correct pronouns.”

Equality Loudoun, FCPS (Fairfax County Public Schools) Pride and GLSEN are among the other advocacy groups that signed the amicus brief. Fairfax County School Board member Karl Frisch, Arlington School Board Chair Barbara Kanninen, Arlington School Board member David Priddy, Falls Church City School Board Chair Laura Downs, Falls Church City School Board members David Ortiz and Lori Silverman and Stafford County School Board member Elizabeth Warner are also signatories.

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Virginia

Va. Senate committee kills six anti-transgender bills

Democrats control chamber by 22-18 margin

Published

on

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Virginia Senate Education Committee on Thursday killed six anti-transgender bills.

The committee rejected state Sen. Mark Peake (R-Lynchburg)’s Senate Bill 960, state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Colonial Heights)’s Senate Bill 791 and state Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania County)’s Senate Bill 1203. All three measures would have banned transition-related health care for minors in Virginia.

The committee also killed state Sen. John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake)’s Senate Bill 911, Reeves’ Senate Bill 1186 and Peake’s Senate Bill 962. The measures would have banned transgender athletes from school teams corresponding with their gender identity.

Equality Virginia in a tweet said committee members received more than 3,000 emails “in opposition” to the bills. The statewide advocacy group further noted 10 out of 12 anti-trans bills introduced during this year’s legislative session have been defeated.

“Thank you to everyone who has spoken up against these bills,” said Equality Virginia. “Virginia is remaining a better, more inclusive state because of your efforts.”

“The fight isn’t over,” added the advocacy group. “But we know Virginians will show up for trans youth, day after day.”

Continue Reading

Virginia

Va. rules commission objects to proposed revision of trans, nonbinary student protections

Party-line vote took place after public hearing

Published

on

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Members of the Virginia Joint Commission on Administrative Rules on Monday voted to formally object Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposed revisions to guidelines for transgender and nonbinary students.

The Virginia Mercury reported all of the committee’s five Democratic members voted to object to Youngkin’s proposed revisions, while all four Republican committee members opted to support them. The commission will now send an objection letter to the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Registrar of Regulations.

Youngkin in September announced his plans to revise the guidelines that his predecessor, Democrat Ralph Northam, signed into law in 2020. The Joint Commission on Administrative Rules’ vote took place on the same day it held a hearing on the proposed policy revisions. 

Equality Virginia Executive Director Narissa Rahaman and state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) are among those who testified against them. Education Secretary Aimee Guidera spoke in favor.

“The policy was submitted for public comment and we are still reviewing those comments,” said Youngkin spokesperson Macaulay Porter in an email to the Washington Blade. “The governor does not support the commission’s decision.”

Continue Reading

Virginia

Youngkin makes additional appointments to Va. LGBTQ+ Advisory Board

Governor plans to revise transgender, nonbinary student guidelines

Published

on

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Friday announced the appointment of three people to the Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board.

Youngkin named Kerry Flynn, Jason Geske and Collin J. Hite to the board.

Casey Flores, the president of Log Cabin Republicans of Richmond, in July resigned from the board before his tenure was to begin. The resignation came amid growing criticism over a series of anti-LGBTQ and misogynist comments he made against Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), among others.

Youngkin last month announced he plans to revise the Virginia Department of Education’s guidelines for transgender and nonbinary students. Thousands of high school students across Virginia on Sept. 27 walked out of class in protest of the planned revision.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular