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UPDATE: Transgender teacher gets to keep her job
LUMBERTON-By: Leslie Rangel
UPDATE 11:15- Laura Jane Klug tells KFDM News, Lumberton ISD superintendent John Valastro and board president James Glenn have reinstated her duties as a substitute teacher.
Klug says they asked her not to come back right away to avoid any distraction during student STAAR testing, but can come back after things quiet down.
ORIGINAL REPORT-A transgender substitute teacher from Lumberton is still waiting to find out if she can keep her job or if she will be fired.
Last Thursday, a student complained to a parent about Laura Jane Klug saying she is a distraction.
Klug learned this week, she had been relieved of her substituting duties.
Tonight, during a scheduled school board meeting, her employment was a big topic of discussion.
There were almost a hundred people in attendance tonight, but a sea of supporters for Laura Jane Klug seemed to over power those who were against the teacher keeping her job.
Inside the packed school board room, a public forum was held to allow anyone to make comments about Klug's employment status.
"All hard working people including transgender people should have the chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families," Jammie Marcantel a supporter said.
"Each parent has the individual liberty, individual rights to determine at what age it is appropriate for their children to be exposed to certain things," one concerned parent said.
One after another..... People came up asking the board to think very hard about Klug's employment status with the district.
"Is there any rational basis for her termination?" Christopher Keen, another Klug supporter asked.
The number of people in support of Klug seemed to outweigh those against her, but make no mistake, feelings were high on both sides.
"My children they're minors and it's my place to stand up for them and do what's right for them. If he wants to show up as a male to teach, that's fine and great but the school does have strict dress codes," Casey Fredrick a concerned parent said.
Klug says she understands the concerns but says she's always maintained her privacy.
"If this hadn't ever been brought out, this topic would never had been a topic of discussion for them and their ten-year-olds," Klug says.
Those here say it's about their children.
"Concerns with having a male teacher show up to work dressed as a female," Fredrick says.
Others say it's about equal rights.
"We did not make this an issue, they did. The LGBT community only wants equal rights," Klug says.
Again, there was no agenda item on Laura Jane Klug's employment, meaning the board can't vote on her employment status.
However, since she is not a contract employee, we're told she can just be terminated by the superintendent.
Klug told us she was set to have a private meeting with the superintendent and h-r during the boards closed session.
When we left they were still discussing agenda items.