LUMBERTON (12NEWS) - A transgender substitute teacher said she has been told she should not return to her classes, after parents complained about her.
Laura Jane Klug, who was born Kurt Klug, worked as a fifth grade substitute teacher at Lumberton Intermediate School, but was asked not to return after some of the students' parents contacted the school.
Klug told 12 News that she met with a representative of Lumberton Independent School District's Human Resources and Superintendent John Valastro Tuesday afternoon. Klug said they suspended her pending a decision by the school board on whether to continue using her as a substitute teacher.
Roger Beard, whose son was in the class Klug was subbing, said what concerns him is the distraction he believes a transgender teacher poses to ten and eleven year old children.
"If it does affect my child and his ability to learn or if it causes questions that I don't feel are appropriate then undoubtedly there's an issue with having somebody transgender, transsexual or transvestite, to be teaching that age group," Beard said.
Klug said that she has substituted at the school without any issues before and she's unsure what instigated the outrage.
"I have always conducted myself in a professional manner and would never discuss my gender identity in school," Klug said.
Activists in the LGBT community, like Vilan Sells who heads Lamar Allies, said this is a case of discrimination and that a person's sexuality has nothing to do with their qualifications.
"Education is all about holding up a mirror to society showing children what real life is and a transgender individual is a part of real life," Sells said.
Klug said the Lumberton ISD school board will privately make the decision whether to fire her, but she said she expects parents will show up to the open forum at the school board meeting on Thursday to voice their opinions.