Laura Jane Klug has been suspended from teaching by her Texas school district for being transgender, leading to a controversy that is making headlines across the globe.
Klug is a substitute school teacher in Lumberton, Texas, but was recently suspended when a group of parents raised concerns with the school district about her gender identity. The teacher was subbing in a fifth grade classroom last week when she first learned that some parents had issues with a transgender person supervising their children.
Some of the parents said they have no problem with Laura Jane Klug being a teacher, but not with children so young.
“Within an hour of them being exposed or dealing with this, there’s a few issues here, I think these kids are too young for this issue, so that’s our main focus is, if it happens in older grades, high school, ok but too young for this,” said Roger Bread, the father of a fifth grade student.
But others have defended Klug, saying her gender identity has no bearing on her abilities as a teacher.
“My son knows who he is and I don’t think any outside influence is going to change that, I’m more concerned about straight predatory teachers rather than I am someone who lives an alternative private alternate lifestyle, I don’t worry about my son,” said Jammie Marcantel, parent of one of the students in Klug’s class.
Other transgender teachers have faced similar issues. In California, teacher Karen Adell Scot is in the process of transitioning to woman, but after her plans to return to the school were made public she faced a backlash. The Sierra Star newspaper published a letter from a community member urging Scot to quit and calling her decision “an assault on the minds and moral of our children.”
The Texas school district said it will not comment on the case, but added that transgender teacher Laura Jane Klug had not been fired.