Civil rights

Florida teacher fired for using gender-neutral honorific ‘Mx.'

The teacher has filed a discrimination complaint alleging that their termination is a violation of federal civil rights law

A billboard along Interstate 95 in Hollywood, Florida
Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

A Florida teacher filed a complaint against their former employer after being fired for using the gender-neutral honorific “Mx.” instead of “Ms.” or “Mr.” in emails and other school communications.

The teacher, who uses the name AV Vary over their legal name, taught high school science at Florida Virtual School, an online public school, until Oct. 24. Vary filed a complaint Wednesday with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging the school discriminated against them based on their gender identity and violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Vary said the pronouns they use and their birth-assigned sex have nothing to do with how they teach physics.

“They are so far from related,” Vary told NBC News on Friday. “Getting fired for this, it’s absolute garbage.”

Neither the Florida Virtual School nor the Florida Department of Education immediately returned requests for comment. The Florida Virtual School said in a statement to USA Today: “As a Florida public school, FLVS is obligated to follow Florida laws and regulations pertaining to public education. This includes laws … pertaining to the use of Personal Titles and Pronouns within Florida’s public school system.”

Read the full story on here.

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