A substitute teacher in Lumberton, Texas is claiming that officials at a middle school fired her after parents expressed concerns that a transgender substitute teacher is less than ideal for a fifth-grade classroom.
The teacher, Laura Jane Klug, was born Kurt Klug, notes the Beaumont Enterprise.
It’s not clear when – or if – Klug underwent sex-change surgery.
Klug, a recent hire, was subbing in a fifth-grade class at Lumberton Intermediate School when parents began complaining about Klug’s transgender status.
The basic complaint parents have is that they don’t want a transgender sub around their 10- and 11-year-old kids because the kids could be confused.
“I think these kids are too young for this issue, so that’s our main focus,” Roger Bread, the father of a fifth grader, told local CBS affiliate KFDM. “If it happens in older grades – high school – okay, but too young for this.”
Other parents say there isn’t anything too complex about a transgender person.
“I’m more concerned about straight predatory teachers rather than I am someone who lives an alternative private alternate lifestyle,” Jammie Marcantel, another fifth-grade parent, told KFDM.
School district officials met with Klug on Tuesday. They have said they cannot – or at least will not – comment on Klug’s employment status.
A Thursday night school board meeting will give parents and other denizens of Lumberton the opportunity to speak their minds about the issue.
The school board will also vote on Klug’s employment fate after the meeting.
Texas is an at-will employment state that does not offer protections based on gender identity, notes KFDM. Federal law may (or may not) be a different matter.
Klug’s kerfuffle is far from the first time a cultural issue has played itself out in an education setting in Lumberton (pop. 11,943). For some reason, the southeast Texas town seems to be a hotbed for crazy school-related happenings.
Last February, for example, a teacher at Lumberton High School allegedly encouraged high school girls to dress up in full-length Islamic burqas and instructed the entire class that Muslim terrorists are actually freedom fighters. (RELATED: Texas public school students don burqas, learn that Muslim terrorists are freedom fighters)
The incident occurred in a world geography class. The general topic of the class that day was Islam. The burqa-related lesson treated the enveloping outer-face-and-body covering more or less as a fashion accessory.
In June, the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a letter to school officials in Lumberton expressing concern about a prayer that may have occurred recently at a kindergarten graduation. (RELATED: Silent on burqas, atheist group pressures Texas school district over kindergarten graduation prayer)
The letter declared that the principal of the Lumberton Early Childhood School committed a “serious violation” of the First Amendment by leading a prayer in front of a group of young children and their parents.
Meanwhile, far away from the city limits of Lumberton, at Yosemite High School in California, 56-year-old male teacher Gary Sconce has announced his plans to return to the classroom after spring break as Karen Adell Scot. (RELATED: California teacher announces sex change to occur over spring break)