US: Teacher suspended after parents complained because she is transgender

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A teacher in the US state of Texas has been told not to return to her classes after parents complained that they did not want a transgender person to teach their children.

Laura Jane Klug had been teaching as a substitute at Lumberton Intermediate School, but has said she was told not to return to her classes after parents said they were concerned that their children might be “distracted” because she is transgender.

She said she had met with an HR representative of the Lumberton Independent School, John Valastro, on Tuesday afternoon, and that she had been suspended, pending a decision by the school board.

“I have always conducted myself in a professional manner and would never discuss my gender identity in school,” Klug said.

Despite that the board’s meeting to discuss the Klug’s case is closed, she said she expects parents will turn up to voice their opinions.

Some parents claimed that Klug’s gender identity proved to be a “distraction”, saying that it could “affect [childrens’] ability to learn,” and that the issue was to do with the age of children.

LGBT rights groups have responded to criticise the complaints, saying the gender identity of a person does not affect their ability to teach, and should not be used to push someone out of a job.

The law in the state of Texas does not currently offer protections against discrimination based on gender identity.