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Teacher fighting for job after refusing to honour transgender student policy

John Kluge said calling transgender students but their preferred name goes against his religion

2018-06-05

A teacher is fighting for his job after he claimed calling transgender students by their preferred name violates his First Amendment rights.

John Kluge, a former orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School in Indiana, believes the district forced him to resign over its transgender student policy which requires teachers to call them by their preferred names rather than those given at birth.

And Kluge believes this goes against his religious beliefs and says it’s scary that teachers are being forced to “speak a certain way”.

He told Indy Star: “I’m being compelled to encourage students in what I believe is something that’s a dangerous lifestyle.

“I’m fine to teach students with other beliefs, but the fact that teachers are being compelled to speak a certain way is the scary thing.”

However LGBT+ advocates say using a person’s preferred name is a sign of respect and has nothing to do with religion or politics.

Sam Brinton, head of advocacy and government affairs for The Trevor Project – a non-profit organisation on suicide prevention in LGBT youth – said: “This is not a request for advocacy.

“This is a request for respect.”