US Christian teacher challenges ousting over pro-trans school policy

A Christian music teacher in the US who was forced to resign after he was ordered to use gender-confused pupils’ ‘preferred names and pronouns’ is appealing his case.

John Kluge had worked as an orchestra teacher at Brownsburg High School, Indiana, for four years when Brownsburg Community School Corporation introduced a policy requiring gender-confused pupils to receive “affirmation of their preferred identity” and that teachers could be punished for using “the wrong name/pronoun”.

Kluge was initially allowed to refer to all pupils by their surnames instead, but this was later reversed and he resigned in 2018. Two courts previously backed the school district, but after the Supreme Court recently ruled in favour of stronger protections for religious employees the case was referred back to court.

‘Resign or be fired’

Travis Barham, Senior Counsel at religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is supporting the case, said: “Federal law protects employees’ ability to live and work according to their religious beliefs.

“Yet the Brownsburg school district ignored the law, deciding Mr. Kluge’s religious views couldn’t be tolerated, revoked his religious accommodation based on the grumblings of a few, and forced him to resign or be fired.”

ADF cited the Supreme Court’s ruling in June, which found that employers must grant religious accommodations to employees unless it would cause “undue hardship on the conduct of the employer’s business”.

The group argued that Mr Kluge “earned a reputation as a fun, engaging teacher who genuinely cared about his students, and the orchestra performed better than ever. But these results were not the school district’s highest priority. It cared more about ensuring he endorsed students’ declared transgender identities”.

Trans guidance

In England, the Government’s repeatedly delayed trans guidance for schools is now expected to be released by Christmas.

Responding to a question at an education event, Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said she hoped the “much awaited” guidance would arrive “before Christmas” but added it would be followed by “a long consultation” on it as “there’ll be lots of opinions”.

The Department for Education guidance has been expected to clarify that schools should not treat gender-confused children as if they were the opposite sex. In March, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged that it would be released “for the summer term”.

Also see:

Red Kite flying with wings spread

‘Being a Christian wasn’t welcome in the SNP’, says defector Cameron

Kate Forbes: ‘Equality Act protects Christians from discrimination too’

Oz ‘drag queen’ ruling hailed as victory against child sexualisation

Related Resources