Sunday, June 10, 2018

Indiana Teacher Fighting School District Over Policy That Respects Trans Students' Preferred Name Choice // Claims the Policy Violates His Religious Liberties

A teacher from Brownsberg, IN, is fighting to keep his job in spite of a school district policy that respects the preferred name of trans students:
John Kluge, the former orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School, said the school district's requirement that teachers call transgender students by their preferred names, rather than those given at birth, goes against his religious beliefs. The requirement, Kluge said, violates his First Amendment rights. 
"I’m being compelled to encourage students in what I believe is something that's a dangerous lifestyle," he said. "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."
That's right. He believes that his religious beliefs are trampled on by using their preferred names.

According to this article, trans kids can request that their preferred names be used instead of their birth name with written consent by their parent and doctor. The district records are then update and teachers are to refer to those students by that name from that point forward.

Kluge believes that calling a trans kid by their preferred name implies that he agrees with their gender identity. He also believes that being a trans kid is "dangerous." And his faith is apparently so fragile that he's harmed by respecting their preferred name choice.

Kluge has apparently been fighting the school district over this policy since January 2018. He tried skirting the policy by only referring to students by their last names. But he was eventually told that he needs to stop calling kids by their last names and start using their first names.

He eventually turned in his resignation, but then regretted that decision right before the end of the school year. So now he is appealing the school board's decision to respect his resignation letter.

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