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School Board Lets Trans Teacher Keep Her Job

KlugFor once, there’s a happy ending to a story about ignorant parents attacking a transgender teacher: the school board of Lumberton, Texas has decided to stand by Laura Jane Klug, and returned her to her duties in the school system.

A couple of parents had complained about her presence, and administrators pulled her out of classes while they tried to figure out what to do. Delightfully, they reached the correct conclusion: do nothing, allow a successful teacher to do her job and let everyone move on with their lives.

Klug had to sit through a school board meeting last Thursday while they debated her future. It was standing room only, with thirteen individuals speaking up — which is a ton, considering it’s a small-town municipal meeting. Part of that meeting included public comment, and you can probably guess the kind of things that ignorant members of the public wanted to bring up. No surprise, someone mentioned bathrooms. Ugh.

Another speaker suggested that she be barred from teaching younger grades. Because discrimination is OK if you only do it a little bit.

At the end of the night, the board hadn’t made a decision, but after a closed-door conference Klug is back in the classroom, as she should be. She’s said that she won’t discuss her gender identity in the classroom, which is probably a good idea for now since it would just cause a lot of agitation. But cis teachers probably refer to their genders all the time without repercussions, so it would be nice if a day could come when Klug doesn’t feel the need to self-censor.

On:           Apr 15, 2014
Tagged: , , ,
    • Billy Budd

      Nice victory. A human being is a human being.

      Apr 15, 2014 at 7:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo

      Now THAT is one intelligent school board! Education might just make it in this country yet! Wait for the right wing idiots to get wind of this… I’m guaranteeing they’ll show up in their rickshaws verbally armed to the teeth! Count on it!

      Apr 16, 2014 at 12:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bamboo_child

      where are all of the “texas taliban” bashers now? hate and bigotry can be found anywhere, not just in texas. proud of my home state for doing the right thing

      Apr 16, 2014 at 2:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo

      @bamboo_child: I would tend to agree with you but too many in Texas (and other States) look on hate and bigotry as a privilege and a right, not a negative aspect. They’re learning… give them credit, I say!

      Apr 16, 2014 at 3:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ait10101

      Texas, no less. Of course not everyone in Texas is a Neanderthal. I used to live in Houston and found a lot of acceptance. I did get a bit of harassment from the police when I went to the main gay district.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 5:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ptay85

      As a teacher and a southerner, I’m never surprised at how hurtful people and the system can be. I bet she’s a fantastic teacher. Keep the change and good choices coming!

      Apr 16, 2014 at 6:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Niall

      She kinda looks like Kathy Griffin from that angle.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 2:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Texasteacher

      Welcome back Ms. Klug! Thank you to the people who showed up for the school board meeting, Mr. Valastro and all the supportive people who log in and comment on Queerty! As a gay man who teaches in Dallas, I appreciate those of you who support LGBT teachers! Your moral support gets us to work every day and I love you all for it! You all made a difference for Laura Klug!

      Apr 16, 2014 at 4:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

      I’m glad she kept her job, but disappointed the school even had to think about it before reaching the correct conclusion. When the complaint came in, it should of been dismissed immediately.

      Apr 16, 2014 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EGO

      In Texas? This is a pleasant surprise. One more step toward supporting LGBT rights!

      Apr 17, 2014 at 7:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bamboo_child


      why are you surprised? the mayor of the largest city in texas, houston, is gay. i really hate how a handful of crazy republican politicians give our state such a bad rep

      Apr 17, 2014 at 8:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bamboo_child


      especially when the majority of texans are friendly and accepting people

      Apr 17, 2014 at 8:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • manjoguy

      @bamboo_child: I wish we could get away from this constant Republican-bashing. There are three gay Republicans running for offices this year – Rich Tisei of Massachusetts is running for the U.S. House; Dan Innis is running in New Hampshire; and Carl DeMaio is running for U.S. Rep from California. . But, to give equal time to both political parties, we should talk also about the “more than handful of crazy Democrats in Washington giving our country a bad name – Obama, Holder,Joe Biden, Lois Lerner, Hillary Clinton and spouse, Harry Reid and on and on and on…

      Apr 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Will L

      I’m so glad this worked out well for her. That is one hell of a school board.

      I’m sure Texas is much like Oklahoma. In our case, it just takes one bigoted governor and her relatively small group of backward-minded cronies to make the entire state look like we just hiked out of the hills.

      Apr 17, 2014 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EdgarCarpenter

      “But cis teachers probably refer to their genders all the time without repercussions”

      Ms. Klug is female, she is not on the fence about this. Her gender is clear. “Transgender” describes a process she went through earlier in life, so it’s an adjective that applies to her in a biographical way, but her gender is not “transgender”, she is female.

      Her original biology is not relevant to her gender identity.

      Writers like Mr. Baume need to stop talking about people like Ms. Klug as if they are somehow not legitimately female.

      Like any other teacher, of whatever biological background, Ms Klug can wear the clothes she wants to wear, she’s referred to as “Miss Klug” or “Ms Klug” by the students (whichever she chooses), and she can be her womanly self in all circumstances. This is no different from her co-workers who have very different histories behind their gender identities. The other female teachers don’t express their femaleness in different ways than Ms Klug. That’s the whole point. That’s what the school board understood.

      Academics who have imposed the idea that “cisgender” and “transgender” are meaningful as states of being have done us all a disservice, and are setting up new cultural barriers to settling easily into one’s current gender identity, whatever it is. Gender theory is proving to be another example of an academic discipline which promises to free us from earlier constraints but instead just makes up new rules to constrict and separate us.

      Apr 19, 2014 at 3:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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