Teacher says he was forced to resign after refusing to call transgender student by preferred name

BROWNSBURG, Ind. – John Kluge, the former orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School, says he was essentially fired for refusing to call a transgender student by their preferred name because it went against his religion, according to WXIN.

The announcement was made at Monday night’s school board meeting, at which teacher John Kluge was in attendance to try and rescind his resignation.

Kluge claims the school district forced him to resign over its transgender student policy. He says the district's requirement that teachers call trans students by their preferred names, rather than those given at birth, goes against his religious beliefs.

"I wanted to be able to teach my subject matter with a clean conscience," said Kluge when he took the podium during the meeting. “You’ve approved my resignation without me being able to appeal my resignation.”

Along with Kluge, about 45 other community members were signed up to voice their opinion about the situation.

"I’m being compelled to encourage students in what I believe is something that's a dangerous lifestyle," Kluge told the Indy Star last week. "I’m fine to teach students with other beliefs, but the fact that teachers are being compelled to speak a certain way is the scary thing."

The Brownsburg Community School Corporation issued the following statement regarding Kluge's resignation:

The Brownsburg Community School Corporation received a voluntary resignation from John Kluge prior to the end of the 2017-18 school year. The administration accepted his resignation. The Brownsburg Board of School Trustees approved this resignation at the regular monthly business meeting on June 11, 2018. Brownsburg Community School Corporation complies with all state and federal laws.