Lumberton, TX Independent School District substitute teacher Laura Jane Klug has been suspended for being transgender. The school district says they are "looking into the matter"...and that Klug has not been terminated...yet. Klug is supposed to hear about the resolution of the school board today, after the school board met on Thursday.
Klug substituted for a teacher in a fifth grade class last Thursday, which was the first day she discovered that someone might have "issues".
Parents of some of the students at the school say, of course, that they don't have any problems themselves with the teacher being transgender, but that the teacher may be confusing the 11-year-olds who are in her charge.
Within an hour of them being exposed or dealing with this, there's a few issues here, I think these kids are too young for this issue, so that's our main focus is, if it happens in older grades, high school, ok but too young for this.
--Roger Bread, parent
Other parents say there has not been an issue before with Klug and they don't see why it is an issue now...and that they have no problem explaining to their child what a transgendender person is.
My son knows who he is and I don't think any outside influence is going to change that, I'm more concerned about straight predatory teachers rather than I am someone who lives an alternative private alternate lifestyle, I don't worry about my son.
--Jammie Marcantel, parent
Texas, of course, has no employment protections for transgender people.
Quite a few transgender people are teachers, though it is often at the college level like me. I'd go so far as to hazard a guess that it is the most common legal occupation for transgender people after computer technology work.
In California science teacher Karen Adell Scot is an award-winning educator who has taught at Yosemite High School for 24 years as a male before recently going public about being transgender.
I’m actually going to work as my real 'out' self. I stand in front of the class and I’m so filled with joy.
I will not return as my male persona ever again.
A neighbor, Kathi Bates, is totally opposed, as she stated in a letter to the local newspaper.
I see this as an assault on the minds and morals of our children. It blurs the lines of what is right and wrong.
Other members of the community support Scot, saying she is the epitome of integrity, courage, and authenticity.
Karen is truly an inspiration to everyone.
--Julia Cruz, whose daughter, Erin Asis, was a student of the teacher
I never expected it, but I'm very happy for her. She'll still be the same excellent teacher that she is.
Students brought cards and cookies to Ms. Scot.
Ms. Scot: No matter what anyone says you are courageous and beautiful for being who you truly are. You are my hero.
--Charlotte Smith, student
Scot informed her colleagues and district officials in a letter earlier in the year that she would be returning from Spring Break to begin her social transition. As happens far too often (it certainly happened in my case) one of her colleagues leaked the letter to the local press. Being outed caused her to begin transition earlier than she intended.
The District recognizes that Mr. Sconce's transition may raise questions among students, parents, guardians and community members. Counseling staff will be available to discuss any issue with students.
--Yosemite Unified School District Superintendent James Sargent, in a letter to parents
In Chicago middle school teacher Jess Scott recently began her social transition at Murray Language Academy in Hyde Park. Recently she overheard some 4th graders asking each other, "Is that a boy or a girl?"
That’s the wonderful thing about kids. They’re so honest. I like that.
Scott has taught math ans science at Murray for 6 years and has been on hormone therapy for two years.
It's not like I'm some alien creature. I've taught your kids for a number of years. I go to restaurants. I'm here, as a transgender person in your neighborhood.
To have this flower blooming, and you want to hide it in the closet. No. You just want to see beauty. And she was becoming who she wanted to be. That was good.
--Scott's wife, Catherine Celimene, who runs an after-school program in Chicago
Some curious co-workers have questioned Scott's closest friends...in a "not terribly accepting tone of voice," according to one of those friends, school librarian Eileen Holzhauer.
Scott also volunteers as the transgender community liaison for the Center on Halsted, work which was recognized at the Center on Halsted's Human First gala on March 29.
I think it is appropriate here to share poet Andrea Gibson's Swing Set: