Students at J.W. Mitchell High School in the distant Tampa suburb of New Port Richey are in for a treat this year as one of their teachers makes the exciting transition from male to female.
The teacher getting a sex change is Robert W. Konrad, reports local NBC affiliate WFLA.
Konrad, a social studies teacher and the leader of the school’s Gay and Lesbian Alliance, is married to another teacher on the Mitchell High faculty. WFLA doesn’t name her, but presumably she is Jericho Konrad, the other Konrad on the school’s faculty.
She is supportive of her husband’s big decision, at least according to one student.
“She said about how she supports him and how they are doing,” the student, Michael Nguyen, told WFLA.
Konrad informed students in his classes about his momentous decision on Thursday.
He said he didn’t want to see just “a short news clip” in local media about his sex change. In an email to the NBC affiliate, he insisted that he would provide a statement only “if it is a genuine learning moment for the community.”
Students who spoke to the station said the response on campus has been generally positive.
“I think there are a few against it but there are a lot of it that are for it and happy for him,” Taylor Hanlon, a student in one of Konrad’s classes, said.
Officials at the school and with the school district are doing a lot of work in preparation for the teacher’s sex change, which will take over a year.
Betsy Kuhn, the school district employee relations director, said she has spent about six weeks preparing a plan for handing it. She also noted that students in Konrad’s classes can ask to be transferred to other classes, but she said there would be no guarantees.
Mitchell High principal Jim Michaels is sending out a prerecorded message to parents addressing the issue.
“We just asked everyone to be respectful and to respect people’s privacy,” Michaels told WFLA.
Kuhn noted that she doesn’t think any other teachers in taxpayer-funded Florida public schools have undergone sex changes.
Last March, a 56-year-old male teacher at Yosemite High School in California completed his odyssey of surgical and hormone-generated transition over spring break to become Karen Adell Scot. Like Konrad, he had been married. The California teacher is also a father.
“People say it’s like a mental illness but it’s not,” the California teacher confidently explained. (RELATED: California Teacher Announces Sex Change To Occur Over Spring Break)
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