A substitute teacher was told this week she shouldn’t return to the fifth grade class she was teaching in after parents complained about her being transgender.
Laura Jane Klug was subbing at Lumberton Intermediate School, but told local news affiliate KBMT 12 News that she was told not to return after some of the students’ parents contacted the school.
Lumberton is a city north of Beaumont.
Klug met with a representative of Lumberton Independent School District’s Human Resources and Superintendent John Valastro Tuesday afternoon. The school board will discuss allowing Klug to return to substituting at its meeting Thursday.
Klug said they suspended her pending a decision by the school board on whether to continue using her as a substitute teacher.
It’s unclear how her gender identity became an issue. Klug said she’s never discussed it in front of students and has always done her job well without any previous complaints.
“I have always conducted myself in a professional manner and would never discuss my gender identity in school,” Klug said.
But some parents are now uncomfortable with her teaching their students.
Roger Beard, whose son was in the class Klug was subbing, said he thinks having a trans teacher to young students is “a very big distraction.”
“If it does affect my child and his ability to learn or if it causes questions that I don’t feel are appropriate then undoubtedly there’s an issue with having somebody transgender, transsexual or transvestite, to be teaching that age group,” Beard said.
Lumberton ISD doesn’t include LGBT protections in its Equal Employment Opportunity policy, but it does include sexual orientation and gender identity in a policy related to career and technical programs. However, in a federal 2012 ruling, it was determined that gender identity was considered discrimination on the basis of sex.
Watch the news report below.