WEST POINT, Va. (AP) — A Virginia high school teacher is fighting a recommendation to be dismissed in the wake of a controversy involving a transgender student.

News outlets report West Point High School French teacher Peter Vlaming was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 31. Attorney Shawn Voyles said his client declined a female student’s request to be referred to as a male.

Ahead of a school board hearing Thursday, Voyles said Vlaming offered to use the student’s name and to avoid feminine pronouns, but Voyles says the school was unwilling to accept the compromise and chose to force Vlaming to speak and act contrary to his own Christian convictions or be fired.

An online petition entitled “Protect Trans Kids” said the student had been openly trans for the whole year and students were constantly correcting Vlaming.

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