By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com April 11 2014 11:53 AM ET
Earlier this week, 52-year-old transgender substitute teacher Laura Jane Klug was suspended by a Texas school district after one parent complained that her transgender status amounted to an unacceptable classroom distraction. After hearing public arguments in support and against Klug on Thursday, she tells Lone Star Q that she has been instated by the district school board.
"I do feel relieved in the fact that I have been reinstated," Klug told Lone Star Q late last night. "I'm not going to jump in and start subbing tomorrow. I do want to give them some time."
Local news station KBMT reports that Lumberton Independent School District Superintendent John Valastro confirmed Klug's reappointment after a discussion between the substitute teacher and school administrators. Valastro did ask Klug to wait a few days before picking up a substitute shift, to let the controversy dissapate. But Klug will continue to be listed on the district's roster of available substitute teachers, KBMT reported.
“Hopefully this is going to be a really good learning moment for everybody involved,” Klug told Lone Star Q. “It’s certainly an opportunity for principals to address the issue of people who are gender-nonconforming. Also, it might encourage somebody who is questioning their gender to maybe come forward.”
In an interview with KBMT, Klug says Valastro was concerned about the legal implications of firing a teacher on the basis of her gender identity.
While Texas does not have stated employment protections in place for transgender individuals, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has been successfully used by trans employees who have been discriminated against because of their transgender status, citing the law's prohibition on sex discrimination.
Watch KBMT's report on last night's school board meeting below.
12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas