BROWNSBURG, Ind. – A central Indiana school district has officially accepted the resignation of a teacher who disagreed with a policy compelling teachers to address transgender students by their preferred name rather than their birth name.
The Brownsburg Community School Corporation accepted John Kluge's resignation at a school board meeting Monday, despite Kluge's attempt to rescind the resignation.
Kluge said he submitted the tentative resignation letter last month because officials threatened to fire him over his view of the transgender name policy. He said he later tried to rescind the letter but was denied.
"You've approved my resignation without me having resigned and without me being able to appeal this to the board," Kluge said. "Please be transparent and please reconsider this termination. Please reinstate me with this accommodation for next year."
Kluge voluntarily submitted his resignation, the district said. Board members and the superintendent declined to comment further on the decision.
Kluge was an orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School. He said the district's transgender name policy goes against his religious beliefs and violates his constitutional rights.
"As a Christian, I believe God has created us male and female and it would be going against my Christian convictions to encourage them in transgenderism," Kluge said.
Kluge said he reached a compromise with school administration that allowed him to refer to all students by their last name this past school year. He said administrators informed him a few months ago that he wouldn't be able to continue that practice next school year and was told that he would have to use their chosen first names or face termination.
Students must have written consent from a parent and doctor to request the name change, according to district documents. LGBTQ community advocates say the practice is a sign of respect and isn't about religion or politics.