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Transgender teacher out of a job again
LUMBERTON-By: Leslie Rangel
A substitute teacher who was suspended after Lumberton ISD parents said her gender identity became a distraction in class is without a job again beginning tomorrow.
The teacher is opening up about what happened to her and what she's now facing.
Laura Jane Klug is brushing up her skills on her past career as a pilot, hoping to land a job after she was removed as a substitute teacher from Lumberton ISD.
"I was very disappointed in light of the fact the school district has it's own non discrimination ordinance, which includes gender identity as a protected class," Klug says.
Back in April, some parents began complaining to Lumberton ISD saying Klug was a distraction to students because of her transgender status.
During a school board meeting where they would vote if she stays or goes, parents against Klug in the classroom said, "each parent has an individual right and individual liberty to determine at what age it is appropriate to be exposed to certain things."
She was suspended for about a week and was then told she was reinstated, what school officials didn't tell her was she'd be working in maintenance.
"I think they elected to do that, I think they sidestepped the problem of keeping me in the class by keeping me on in another capacity," Klug said.
Klug says she was disappointed but didn't want to cause problems.
"I don't want anyone to lose their job because of me," Klug says.
She continued her job doing maintenance, trying not to create any waves.
"We could've drug in the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, I had volunteers from both organizations contacting me, we've got lawyers standing by and I held them at bay, I do not want to go that route," Klug said.
Now, she says she been told her maintenance job is being cut due to budget cuts.
"My job ends tomorrow," Klug said.
Today, she's fixing up her favorite car, in hopes that she'll sell it and get enough money to get her through a few more weeks.
"I just have to put my trust in God and hope He has a plan in mind and I hope he reveals it pretty quick, but financially things are getting tight around here," Klug said.
A plan she hopes also includes acceptance for who she is.
"The question I ask people... What effect does my life have on yours? Honestly speaking, what does my existence, what effect does my existence have on your life and the answer is absolutely nothing," Klug said.
We tried reaching Lumberton ISD administrators for comment, we have not heard back from them.