Colorado high school teacher subjected to ‘re-education’ for urging caution to student about gender transition

A Colorado high school teacher was disciplined and forced to undergo “re-education” after an email to a student suggesting the student should be fully informed before making a gender…

A Colorado high school teacher was disciplined and forced to undergo “re-education” after an email to a student suggesting the student should be fully informed before making a gender transition.

According to the Daily Caller, Phil Vagos, a Jefferson County Public Schools high school teacher, received an email on the last day of school from a biologically female student pleading for a second chance at passing his class. In the email, the student also asked that the preferred pronouns of “he/him” be used “when in absence of parental figures.”

“I understand that my grade in your class is incredibly low and that I never truly got any important work done during the semester,” the student’s May 2021 email reads. “With the end of the year being today, I realize my mistake and I’m asking you for an extended semester to make up the credits I have lost. I’m determined to work as hard and as efficiently in your course as I can, and have the motivation to participate in your class.” 

Vagos extended mercy to the student by removing some “zero credit assignments” in order to allow the student to pass the class.  

While Vagos appears kind and respectful in the entire exchange, his willingness to address the student’s gender transition eventually got him in trouble. 

“[A]s much as I don’t want to interfere in anything that isn’t my business, given the P.S. of the email I thought it might be helpful for me to provide a link regarding the transitioning process that has become a recent trend among young people in the United States,” Vagos wrote. “I typically wouldn’t do this, although you did mention that you are using an alternate name and gender outside of your parents’ presence, which tells me that this might not be the result of a consensus of agreement between you and them. 

“In any event, please forgive my presumptuousness on my part regarding this issue. But I am a firm believer in making fully informed decisions…especially when they may completely and permanently alter one’s life.”  

Though the exchange took place in May 2021, Vagos was not disciplined until later, after a student and parent complained that the teacher was not wearing mask and another student complained he was too conservative, according to the Daily Caller. 

In the end, Jefferson County Public Schools deemed the teacher’s statement on transgenderism was “harassment of students based on sexual orientation,” according to the district’s official reprimand letter sent to Vagos. The letter also informed the 15-year veteran teacher that he was no longer allowed to use the word “trend” when discussing gender ideology issues.

Vagos was also required to take “Gender Inclusion 101” training, which included the following resources: 

  • “Avery’s Story,” a YouTube video about a biological male who transitioned to female.
  • “Mom, I’m Not a Girl: Raising a Transgender Child,” a mini-documentary from “Cosmopolitan” about raising a transgender child.
  • “What is a Gender Inclusive School?” a video that apparently answers the question, “What are the steps for becoming a more gender inclusive school?”

Jefferson County Schools, like many other districts around the country, has established policies to keep parents in the dark about their children’s gender transitions, even leading some parents to sue.