Music teacher John Kluge with an unidentified lawyer
via NBC News

John Kluge was a music teacher at Brownsburg High School in Brownsburg, Indiana. Kluge claimed that he had a religious duty not to abide by the policy of the school district requiring teachers to address trans students by their chosen name. Personally, I have a religious duty to hang a dead cat from my terrace which is less harmful than Kluge’s perceived obligation but the City of Miami Beach disagrees.

You’ll do! I have to off you first

Kluge claimed that the school district was interfering with his religious liberty under the First Amendment. Kluge decided that he would work around the policy by rudely calling students by their last name. The school district initially permitted him to do so and then withdrew their approval. Kluge resigned. His resignation was accepted.

Kluge attempted to withdraw his resignation. Tuesday, the school board formally accepted his departure. Kluge might have a legitimate procedural issue but I do not think that we are obliged to honor everyone’s religious idiosyncrasies.

In fact, I do not understand how addressing children as they choose to be addressed creates a religious conflict. Is it a real conflict or one that was generated by pressure groups or the Church to deny access right to transgender students? These things have a way of drifting to the echo chamber and then being adopted by less discerning individuals.

Some Christians believe that their god does not make mistakes and being transgender is to promote the idea that the individual believes that a mistake (incongruent gender and natal sex) was made. This fiction becomes a religious “truth.” Adherents are required to ask their god to resolve their gender conflicts. Therefore, any acceptance of transgender people is a religious transgression. That denies the scientific reality.

LGBT kids also have rights. They have a right in public school to be treated with respect and dignity. Feigned compassion does not offer dignity. They do not need anyone’s pity. Mr. Kluge is a religious zealot who might want to teach in a religious environment.

Related content:

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.