LUMBERTON, TX (KBMT/CNN) - A transgender substitute teacher will return to the classroom after some parents had complained and called the teacher a distraction.
Thursday night the packed Lumberton ISD Board Room was divided not by race or by income, but by ideals.
The question was whether transgender substitute teacher Laura Jane Klug should keep her job with the district.
“This is a constitutional issue. You have to ask yourself if there is any rational basis for her termination,” said one commenter at the podium.
Supporters rallied behind Klug, who sat quietly amongst them. Some told the board of trustees their own struggles of being accepted.
“My question is this. When do we start focusing more on the education than the gender?” asked a supporter.
Concerned parents stood up to the board of trustees and Superintendent John Valastro, telling the district that Klug does not belong amongst students.
“This has caused elementary students to be confused. Asking questions of their parents wondering why a female teacher has facial hair,” said one parent.
“We’re just now talking to our kids about the birds and the bees. I’m not sure how we’re supposed to explain this. He hired in as a male. He is a male,” said another parent.
Though Klug later admitted some of what was said was hurtful, she said supporters helped her keep her composure.
“We’re not asking for anything special, we’re just asking for equal rights. I am capable of doing a job,” Klug said.
Within a few hours after meeting with Superintendent Valastro and trustees, Klug said Valastro let her know the district must do what’s right according to the law. Klug was welcomed back into the classroom.