Trans teacher resigns

“I’m being compelled to encourage students in what I believe is something that’s a dangerous lifestyle,” Kluge told reporters.


An Indiana high school teacher was forced to resign amid growing pressure from school officials after he refused to address transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns. The ensuing controversy has shown that heated debates over free speech, religious freedom, and transgender rights aren’t going away any time soon.

28-year-old orchestra teacher John Kluge first made headlines back in May when he publicly opposed a new school district policy mandating that teachers call trans students by their preferred names, instead of their given names. Kluge insisted that the policy violated his religious beliefs and argued he shouldn’t be forced to use speech he doesn’t agree with.

“I’m being compelled to encourage students in what I believe is something that’s a dangerous lifestyle,” Kluge told reporters. “I’m fine to teach students with other beliefs, but the fact that teachers are being compelled to speak a certain way is the scary thing.”

Transgender Bathroom

Not everyone supports the move towards gender-inclusive restrooms.

Transgender Rights in Flux

Transgender people, who make up roughly 0.3 percent of the American population, claim gender identities different than those associated with their assigned sex at birth. The world has become increasingly accepting of transgender identities, and trans rights have expanded markedly in recent years.

However, that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been controversy along the way. From high-profile disputes regarding transgender bathroom policy, to the ongoing debate over gender pronouns, society still fails to see eye-to-eye on some important issues.

LGBTQ advocates insist that using a person’s preferred name rather than the one they are given at birth is about respect, and not a political or religious statement. “This is not a request for advocacy,” explains Sam Brinton of the Trevor Project, a non-profit working to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth.

But the conservative Indiana Family Institute is urging residents to write to school board officials in support of Kluge. “Brownsburg School Corporation is sending a message to their best teachers that they must violate their conscience and encourage students down a dangerous path or accept termination. What a terrible way to treat teachers!” they wrote in a statement.

Role of Government

This story raises crucial questions not only about what kinds of policies we should enact, but also how they should be enforced. For example, should the government play a role in ensuring the rules are being followed? Should citizens be mandated to use whatever pronouns transgender people identify with?

That’s precisely the debate currently underway in Canada, where issues of transgender rights and free speech have come to the fore after the passage of Bill C-16, a law meant to curb discrimination and hate speech. Although many people supported the legislation, others warned it could have unintended consequences.

Those concerns were realized in a now-infamous incident at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. A graduate teaching assistant was accused of violating trans students’ rights after she showed a video to her class that included a debate over the proper use of transgender pronouns. School officials compared her actions to “neutrally playing a speech by Hitler” and insisted that holding a classroom discussion about transgender pronouns was a potential violation of human rights.

The school was later forced to apologize and admit that it overstepped its bounds. However, the incident has been held up as proof that enforcing the use of transgender pronouns by law creates a slippery slope.

Finding a Balance

While it would certainly be nice if everyone could be compassionate and use whatever name/pronoun others wish to be called, that seems unrealistic. There will always be those who question the status quo and refuse to abide by rules they don’t agree with.

The question then becomes: how do we handle the naysayers? Say we pass laws mandating everyone respect these new norms – what if people refuse? Do we write tickets? Throw them in jail? You don’t need a wild imagination to predict how that could quickly get ugly.

Is there a better solution?

 

145 comments

  1. Carl Elfstrom says:

    The disrespectful cry-baby got what he deserved. Teachers ought to at least display good manners as role models for their students to learn from. It’s not something which can only be taught at home or in school, for adolescents (and everyone else),learns from everything they witness in life. Teachers have a direct impact on their students, and must be mature and nurturing, or find another kind of work. Such pouting about his constitutional rights shows immaturity, and lack of concern for the rights of his students.

    1. Noel Moore says:

      Students who don’t have a constitutional right to be called yadayada.

    2. Richard says:

      Well, imho, whenever I tried to use a different name other than my birth name, I was taken to jail as “AKA,” and locked up until a deputy made his own decision as to my “real name.” Why should these kids be treated any differently?

      1. Gary Emerson says:

        As a retired Deputy Sheriff I can assure you that giving a false name to a police officer can land you in the pokie..and your defense being that you just don’t like your legal name for whatever reason, gender, etc. is not a winning defense…

        1. Do No Harm says:

          You have the RIGHT to remain silent…. you know the rest.

          You are not required to provide a name or identification if you are doing no crime.

          You don’t even need I.D. nor proof of citizenship to go VOTE.

          AM I BEING DETAINED ?
          AM I FREE TO GO ?
          The only two things anyone has to say to an officer…

          And no, being arrested for ‘resisting arrest’ recursively – that has been struck down in multiple court cases, with the Judges ruling the arrests unconstitutional (and citizens winning very expensive lawsuits against police departments, unfortunately).

          But you are correct,
          it is very illegal to give
          a False I.D. to an officer.
          Many drunken under age students learn that little life lesson the HARD WAY.

        2. Donna Reeves says:

          However, it is NOT illegal to call your self by any name you choose UNLESS your intent is to defraud someone in someway.

    3. Kevin says:

      Not sure upholding ones so called rights at the expense of another’s is the answer and I’m sure using defamatory descriptions of this man is wrong.we are too quick to demonize or belittle those who don’t agree.

      1. Donna says:

        I agree, Kevin. What happened to having an open discussion where all sides are discussed with respect? Everyone has the right to disagree, and surprisingly enough, it doesn’t make their opinion wrong, simply different. Maybe if parents taught their children to believe as they choose as long as they’re respectful, and the people who are supposed to represent us modeled open and honest discussion, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today.

        1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

          So if a person stated “the earth is flat” or “we have no need of Dr.s or Surgeons only prayer” would you be respectful of their “opinions” or would you rather think they’ve quite a few screws loose and dismiss them outright? Of course you would dismiss them because we have medical and scientific fact proving their arguments to be false.
          The people who argue against transgender people are absolutely no different than a flat earther or medical denier. Medicine and Science have proved their argument false and they deserve no more recognition than any other idiot!

          1. Rev. Rene L. says:

            Would it not be nice if all the people in this world were wise enough and educated enough to be able to do the following: See the opportunity to invite the students, (and all others who you may have an intelligent adult conversation with,) to discuss without rancor where these ideas and concepts fit in 2018! No preconceived lead from the teacher/monitor, no steering of the discussion other than keeping it harm-free and clean. And everyone in the group gets equal time, no interruptions. Maybe something might be learned from all concerned since all will have a potential different input.

          2. Rev. Robert N. says:

            If you truly can jump so easily to such extrem comparisons then I think you are missing the point of the lgbtqqiaap and all other human right movements.
            Everyperson has the right to ones personal opinion and disrespecting them for there belebel or belittle them is Rong.
            A flat earther, has as much right of believe as a Christian, or gender fluad person.
            Demanding respect from someone is imposable to inforce. And people with such personal believes as transgenders should be brought up, and egecated anuf to realise not every person will agree with there person belebel.

        2. Tom says:

          Donna…you are right…the problem is that people act from their egos, instead of their spirits…if they acted from their spiritual being, there would be no attacking everything that disagrees with their egos…Peace…Tom

      2. Tom says:

        Kevin…well said…Peace…Tom

    4. scott r day says:

      I wish everyone would just STOP IT. This can but doesn’t have anything to do with belief in God or government.
      The point of having rights is to let all others ( church, government, other people) know that their rights end at my nose
      as mine end at theirs. These folks can call themselves whatever they want, and so can anyone else for themselves or
      others. What gets us into trouble is when we, as in all of us, try to find some way to MAKE someone else say what we
      want or wish.
      It is each persons choice as to accede to their demands or not; NOT the other person or governments choice.
      This is what it means to have RIGHTS because if one allows these people or government to dictate our speech then
      our RIGHTS are gone and theirs are next when someone else finds something that these others say and are able to get enough people or government to disagree with then their RIGHTS will be gone also!

    5. Barry says:

      There is a very simple solution for this. You call the students by the name the unrolled in school with. I have friends with Nick Name’s like.. Buddha because he has a round belly. One named Possum another named Cheeseburger because that’s what I liked best for lunch. The parents gave the children a name of their choosing so to speak of them by any other name disrespects the parents wishes. If the parents want the children to have a different name just go to the court house and buy the legal forms. Simple. Very Simple.

  2. Gilbert Mason says:

    There is a difference between the free will to call someone by their preferred pronoun, and being forced. Forced language is a trait of fascism, which falls under silencing free speech.

    Let’s be clear, choosing not to use a preferred pronoun does not invalidate that person’s existence, it is simply the teacher’s right to choose whether tor not they use them.

    The idea of forced language can be compared to how a religious person treats blasphemy. Our education system is predominately on the left. The left is predominately non-religious. I’d argue that the godless left has found a new form of religion, and it is called social justice. Refusing to use preferred pronouns is a new form of blasphemy.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      This sounds like another one who ought to be ignored.

      1. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Some people totally twist and misconstrue religion in their minds into thinking if others don’t believe the same way they believe that they aren’t religious at all. Some of them even pout, call names (which are totally unsubstantiated) and have childish temper tantrums when others don’t agree with them.

        1. David says:

          Actually, sir, or ma’am, you are exactly the one who is pouting and name calling because someone doesn’t agree with you. I am a teacher. And these ‘rules’ are changing on a daily basis and are being made up by adolescents in our classrooms who are vulnerable to activists and people who absolutely despise people of faith (see Dan Savage). I treat all of my students with respect and have a classroom designated as a ‘safe space’ by our GSTA. My students respect me for my heart and we can have deep conversations over these types of issues. I teach them understanding OF ALL SIDES, and we don’t resort to name calling as you have. But it is not the role of government to force people into speaking a certain way if they don’t agree. Read the New Testament and see what happens to them.

        2. Kevin says:

          Carl, you mean like the names you used in your earlier post?

      2. David says:

        You are rude.

      3. Carol Waldenburg says:

        You nailed it Carl!

    2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp, MSW, LCSW says:

      And what is the problem of supporting equality, condemning discrimination and supporting social justice??? We on the left are humanitarians, walk our talk, help those less fortunate and those who are targets of hate (kind of like the words of YOUR savior) and we fight against a religious ideology of suppression, bigotry and hatred of so-called god filled hypocrites. Perhaps discrimination should be considered fascism.

      1. Benito Marcello Bowen says:

        So you decide or people like you decide what’s acceptable to say and what is “hate speech” and should be banned? Sounds like a textbook definition of fascism to me. Perhaps you need to educate yourself on things you seem to be ignorant of, rather than speaking from the heart. Your and your peers get to decide what is acceptable, you silence the opposition through legal restrictions and create a society where only your points of view are the allowed norm. Does that sound at all familiar to you? People like to throw fascist around these days and say someone “literally Hitler,” but not 1 in a 100 seems to actually have any knowledge to back up their claims. Hate speech is one of the very definitions of free speech, just because you don’t like it is completely irrelevant. Please note, I’m not advocating against people being called by their preferred name. If someone genuinely asks to be called he, she, they, or Jolly Old Christmas Fart, then that’s what I’ll call them. The problem arise when you have a government entity that enforces a code of speech that is punishable by law, because you open a dangerous floodgate for setting a precedent for forced conformity. Decency without dictatorship.

    3. Cherry says:

      Listen here, Mrs. Gertrude Mason, you are comparing not being a total jerk to being bent to the will of fascism? And shouldn’t social justice be part of any belief system worth pursuing?

      1. David says:

        Name calling. Hateful rhetoric. Shouting down people who respectfully disagree with you. Sounds like intolerance to me. I can not believe what I am reading in the comments here. I never want to be identified as a member of the ‘left’ because they obviously have no interest in civility or tolerance. God is love. Read the New Testament. Trolling here is not what Jesus would be doing.

      2. Gilbert Mason says:

        Justice does not need a prefix.

    4. Todd W Sargent says:

      While I agree that forced language is a bad idea, I’m not sure it’s a free speech issue. Free speech has to do with speaking your mind whether in print or the spoken word. For a trans student to request being called by their preferred pronoun and name, they have had a lot to deal with to get to that point. It takes guts to come out and be who they feel themselves to be. To fail to treat them as you would anyone else is unfair, disrespectful and discompassionate. For the teacher to say it violates his religious beliefs is a prime example of legalism; something we people of faith eschew.

      Please note, that I am a Republican and quite conservative, but I believe that everyone has the right to express themselves as they wish. For a student to come out, publicly, as gay, bi or trans takes a lot of courage. They are deserving of the same respect and love they all of their peers receive.

      1. Lakesha says:

        Everyone deserves respect including those whom disagree. Unfortunately it would seem that the only religion not respected in the free country of ours is Christian. It offends so many that we have to hide what we belive and bend which is considered a sin in our God’s eyes. God teaches love but he also teaches that y I u do not condone wro n g. These children have been through a lot an are suffering, part of the reason they are suffering is because no one love dthem enough to insist there behavior was not appropriate and see what is really wrong. No child born should be allowed to go through a trans gender stage. Efore reaching adult hood. They should seek mental and emotional help because they do not love what they already are. I am a firm beleiver that you can still love someone and disagree with what they are doing and as the parents responsible for these young adult or in this case the adult responsible we should teach the me too address the issue, not embrace changing into someone else to be accepted. The teacher is not name calling or bad mouthing them he is just refusing to condone something he believes to be a sin and being the one person, taking a risk to say you were perfect whatever way you came in this world and don’t need to change. His rights are being violated by forcing him to encourage or engage in somethibg that would cause him to sin
        Let’s also think he is a teacher and obviously loves children so he is trying to be a good role model not encouraging this behavior. If it was that serious the parents would legally change there name so the teacher had no choice.

        1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

          Pffft….it’s obvious you know exactly ZERO concerning anything to do with transgender people. Your post is nothing but ignorance couched in religious bigotry!

          1. Gary Minnis says:

            Judge much? The American Psychiatric Association has a term for this. They call it ‘gender dysphoria’. You can read about it here. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/gender-dysphoria/what-is-gender-dysphoria Just because you want to call a plum an apple doesn’t make it so. Someone once said that ‘Political correctness is just polite tyranny.’ Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of our democratic republic. When we start being reprimanded, fired or arrested for our words, we are truly lost.

        2. Ann says:

          lakesha, your opinion is quite shocking . It’s just an opinion of a very “Christian” person . Christian people like to call themselves kind, loving ,tolerant ,accepting.i see none of that here. I only see judgement ,which is often the case with many religions. It’s unfortunate that people feel the need to judge others just because they have a different belief system.Its very small minded,close minded.This world we live in today needs a huge wake up call!Listen to yourselves!That teacher was rightfully fired for shaming that poor student. Yes,shaming is what he did ,and he put his beliefs above common decency towards another human being.No ones beliefs or opinions are any more important Than anyone else’s.what that teacher did was BULLY that poor student ,by using his position as a teacher to do so.sad day …tragic

    5. Susan Eppling says:

      Outing a transgender person by using a name or pronoun that they do not identify with can be emotionally shocking and dangerous. Outing a transgender person contributes to one of the highest murder and suicide rates in the world. What you don’t understand is not an excuse for being rude and placing people in harm’s way. People who are transgender are just people, trying to be their best in this world. People just like you and me. When in doubt, of what to say or what to do, be kind. Be extra kind.

      1. Tom says:

        Susan…i agree with what you wrote…this is not a legal or religious issue…it is an issue of respect, love and compassion for everyone, which is the way to live…any deviation from this way of living creates karma to be dealt with later, or in later lives…it is so difficult to understand why so many people feel that universal love and compassion is not the way to live…Peace…Tom

      2. Tom says:

        Susan…i wrote, but i do not see it…i agree with you…no matter whether a person has a particular sex, race, nationality, gender, religion, etc, the person is still a person, and to realize the most out of our lives we should simply live with compassion, love, understanding and forgiveness…anything else is ego/defensive, and unnecessary and often destructive…Peace…Tom

      3. Tom says:

        Joseph…while i am now receiving the ULC main page and comments, my comments do not appear…it seems we are halfway there…your additional help will be appreciated…thank you…Tom

    6. Madison Thompson says:

      Wow, Gilbert! Lots of leaps and bounds in your statement. “Our education system is predominately on the left” That’s a pretty sweeping statement. Do you mean the secondary educational system or the higher education system where young adults learn, in college, to formulate their own opinions and try out other thought processes? “The left is predominately non-religious”. Not sure how you’re measuring that. Was Martin Luther King, Jr. on the left or right? Was Governor Ross Barnett on the left or right? Was Rosa Parks on the left or right? Were slave-owners on the left or right? “I’d argue that the godless left has found a new form of religion, and it is called social justice.” Was Moses on the godless left when he led the Jews away from Pharaoh into social justice? Were the Nuremburg Trials run by the godless left when they held Fascists accountable for their acts? From my perspective, God never abandons anyone, even when they “render unto Caeser……” by calling someone the name they prefer, even if you don’t believe in its origin.

      1. Gilbert Mason says:

        Madison, I’m glad you have so many questions about your tribe.

        I’d hoped you would be able to understand that my fact-based opinions obvious do not speak in absolutes. There will always be anecdotal evidence to counter my claims. But an alarming amount of my claims are true to a vast degree.

        Leftist indoctrination starts as early as day care. I’ve seen crayon drawings from all the students posted on the window for all to see showing their political and social views. What does a 3 year old know about gun control or the biology of genders?

        The reason public education institutes are mostly on the left are because most education systems receive funding from the government and the teachers are part of a union. This creates an incentive to promote more government control, like enforcing compelled speech.

        Present day Liberalism is not the same as Martin Luther King Liberalism. In the 60s, it was better to be on the left and fight for free speech and freedom of expression. Berkeley was the home of free speech. Ironically Berkeley has become anti free speech. The left is no longer Liberal, they are tribal, culturally religious, and live by victimization and identity politics. Who was it that said “…live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”? Oh yeah, Martin Luther King.

        Oh and my favorite from your response, “Were slave-owners on the left or right?”, they were on the left. You cannot find one republican that owned a slave in the United States. All of those statues in the south that the left wants torn down? All democrats. Who was it that freed the slaves? President Abraham Lincoln, a republican.

        Mic drop.

        1. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

          LOL

    7. Lisa Gavin says:

      How cruel. I’d like to do your sources on your statements that schools are left and left is not religious. I believe that is a reflection of your hatred

      1. Gilbert Mason says:

        How are my fact-based opinions hatred? Seeking the truth is not hateful. Logic and emotion are polar opposites.

    8. Gabriel Garcia says:

      The “left” is not Godless!

  3. John Owens says:

    Let’s review the available pronouns and possessive pronouns: He, she, it, you, your, our, their, his, hers, its. The article doesn’t state what specific pronoun he was supposed to use. Now, if a dude is a dude, I’m going to refer to him as a dude, unless he’s a prima-donna, in which case I’ll call him Princess or Cupcake or if his name say, Carl, I’ll call him Carla or Carlene or such.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      As multi-faceted individuals, never seen by others as a whole, but from various points of view, we can at times be described by others with more or less accuracy, by different pronouns.

    2. Gary Emerson says:

      I’m kind of partial to twink or twinkie…Ok, so where were all these depressed, fragile, suicidal people 150-200 years ago. I don’t believe there were an abnormal amount of suicides way back when. You know back when men were men and women were women…good old days gone forever.

      1. Anne says:

        Actually transgender people have always existed, and have been more readily accepted in many cultures without christian judean values. In Mesopotamia (English is not my first language, forgive me if I have the English name for it wrong) there existed up to as many as 5 genders people could readily identify as. India too, knows legally a third gender other than man or woman. The existence of people that experience gender dysphoria has never been in question. Wether they were free enough to speak up about it is another matter entirely. A teacher may hold an opinion but it is /NEVER/ a reason to treat one of his students with less respect. This includes respecting their identity. It is not up to him to decide what to call another person.

    3. Doug Frith says:

      I’m not sure how else one could refer to someone without using one of the basic pronouns listed. But as far as the student’s preferred name, I’d suggest that the teacher go by the class list. if the student wants to change their name, they should identify it to the school’s office, having it changed on the official class list and that problem is solved. Any more than that and it would appear that the student is simply trying to stir the pot and I wouldn’t tolerate that in any class I taught.

  4. T'Keren Valmaz says:

    It is a persons right to use whatever name they wish as long as it is not involving an illegal act then it becomes an alias. In highschool I had gotten bored of my first name for a time and started using my middle name. I made it a point to ask each teach to use that name. When one refused to get with the program I went and spoke to the vice principal who called that teacher in and we had a discussion about it. The teacher seemed to think it was their choice to call me whatever they wanted, and the VP made it clear it wasnt. That I had every right to use my middle name, and the needless disrespect the teacher showed to me and to the VP for arguing with him resulted in that teacher being fired.

    And that was just for wanting to be called by my middle name. This teacher got off lightly as he was expressing far greater contempt to his students.

    Speaking to others in a way that is meant to offend them is a sure sign of a lack of civility and social skills and both of which need to be weeded out of any civilized society. There is a reason some societies like the japanese have being polite and respectful at all times so ingrained into their cultural psyche, because during the long lasting age of the samurai showing anything but respect meant losing your head. Which is perfectly reasonable.

    Either act civilized and be a part of society or be removed from it, that really is the only option.

    Its really not hard, If I address someone I dont know if younger I refer to them as youngling, if older and male I refer to them as old timer, and if female then as madam. Simple, civil, and usually met with a smile from the kids and ladies, some of the old men grumble about it, but eh they are lucky we dont toss them in volcanoes at 65 as it is. One can only imagine how much better our world would be atm if that was sop.

    1. Carl Elfstrom says:

      I address all adults I’m speaking to as either sir or mam, respectively, unless I know them, then I also call them by the name they want to be called by. I also call children I know by whatever name they prefer to go by. Anything else seems disrespectful to me.

    2. Dick Nigh says:

      Yes, T’Keren. If you want to be called by your middle name, then others should call you by that name. Otherwise, they may find themselves fired from your group of friends or acquaintances. During later elementary school, I didn’t want to be called Dick anymore, for obvious reasons, and forced people to call me Richard. It took time, but people realized at some point that I was serious about this. It is everyone’s right to be called by the name or pronoun that they wish to be called by, and it is not the right of someone else to deny that right.

  5. Red says:

    A better solution would be not catering to kids with gender dysphoria and instead getting them treatment!

    1. Jeremy says:

      That’s a very narrow minded position. Please recognize that trans people have rights too…

      1. Gary Minnis says:

        Of course they do. But they are no more important than anyone else’s.

    2. Dan says:

      Do you know anyone who is trans? Mandatory treatment sounds a bit too authoritarian for my taste…

    3. Carl Elfstrom says:

      But what if they’re content in their dysphoria?

    4. Anne says:

      You’re in luck! The only treatment for gender dysphoria is transitioning to the gender the person identifies with, which includes changing pronouns and identity! Most importantly, having people be respectful of their identity, so they do not experience dysphoria…

      1. Greg M says:

        False. In fact, most studies show that after transition the depression and suicide rate goes higher.

        1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

          WRONG FALSE INCORRECT Greg…..your information is complete crap and you know it!

        2. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

          One might argue, any emotional shift/decline is NOT from the gender reassignment, the depression would be more from the perpetual noxious environment and enduring incessant oppressive bigotry.

        3. DHSocioloog says:

          Big false. There is absolutely nothing supporting this claim aside from a 2011 study conducted by a well known anti-transgender advocate. This study, often misquoted, contains the following caveat that is often ignored:

          ‘It is therefore important to note that the current study is only informative with respect to transsexual persons health after sex reassignment; no inferences can be drawn as to the effectiveness of sex reassignment as a treatment for transsexualism. In other words, the results should not be interpreted such as sex reassignment per se increases morbidity and mortality. Things might have been even worse without sex reassignment. As an analogy, similar studies have found increased somatic morbidity, suicide rate, and overall mortality for patients treated for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This is important information, but it does not follow that mood stabilizing treatment or antipsychotic treatment is the culprit.’

          Meaning there can be no conclusive causality drawn between transitioning and suicide rates, because the study was only conducted on people who underwent gender reaffirming surgery, and yes /they/ were more likely to be suicidal than cisgender people.

          I’m a major in sociology, mastering in gender studies, so the next time you want to talk academics mister Greg, do try a bit harder.

    5. Myra says:

      Is your statement coming from a place of love or a place of fear?

    6. Joe Flabenowitz says:

      Red- you prob should have just left off at “A better solution would be not catering to kids.” That would have been more than sufficient.

    7. Carol Waldenburg says:

      Better yet Red, how about you get yourself educated about gender dysphoria!

  6. Father Jack says:

    How can you write an article about pronouns and names causing a teacher to lose their job and not include what the particular words are?

    1. adrian stocks says:

      I was just thinking the same thing. Glad I am not the only one who spotted it.

  7. Myra says:

    I feel that if a teacher with stated prejudices of any kind is allowed to stay in a classroom, parents and students should have the unquestioned right to change to a different teacher. No child should be forced to stay in a classroom with a teacher who does not respect them.

    There is only one question to ask. Do your thoughts and actions come from a place of love or a place of fear?

  8. Myra says:

    Children in a classroom with a teacher with stated bigotries should have the unquestioned right to move to a different teacher. No child can learn in am atmosphere where they are not rspected and even openly critized for who they are.

  9. Joe Flabenowitz says:

    If someone can choose to be called a boy/girl/man/woman based on what they “identify” as, shouldn’t a person have the right (not sure that’s the right word) to refer to them as they see them? If you identify as someone other than what you were born as, why can’t I refer to you as what I identify you as?

    Does that make sense?

    I don’t want to judge. Just asking.

    1. Carol Waldenburg says:

      That does NOT makes sense. I won’t call you Stephen because I feel you LOOK more like a Stephen than a Joe. I’m afraid that your comment shows that you don’t get it.

      1. Joe Flabenowitz says:

        Glad you didn’t understand…..

    2. Gary Emerson says:

      I have the answer…Make them all wear signs that designate them as whatever they are or pretend to be for the attention, or choose to be just to be different. Funny that these issues were unheard of for the past 250 years…

      1. Anne says:

        Funny how that statement is based on absolutely zero facts. Transgender people have always existed, as have other lgbt people. The fact that historians, influenced by judean christian values erased the identity of these lgbt people from the history books is what truly needs to be lamented. There are tombs from ancient Egypt, clay tablets from Mesopotamia describing the existence of transgender people – even people that did not identify within the gender binary. To say this is a new thing is nonsense. The only thing that is new is the fact our society has only recently become liberated enough for these people to speak up openly.

        1. Gary Emerson says:

          Hmmm…guess we should first define ‘transgender’. It seems that a real, true transgender would have to undergo serious surgical procedures to accomplish that. Don’t think they had that technology back then. But, for the record, if someone puts themselves through that series of operations to ‘truly’ become transgender, I’ll have the utmost respect for them and gladly call them by whatever name they prefer. As for the other ‘posers, pretenders, attention hogs, and gutless wannabees’ they can kiss it.

          1. Anne says:

            Gary, this is yet another one of your comments that demonstrate a lack of knowledge on the subject, but allow me to clear some things up.
            1) A person is not ‘a transgender.’
            Transgender is an adjective, not a noun, derived from the ancient Greek meaning of trans, or opposite the spectrum. Someone is a transgender person when they identify with the gender opposite of the biological characteristics they were born with. Someone is transgender when they suffer from gender dysphoria, nót because they start transitioning.

            2) One does not transition to ‘become truly transgender’ as you so tactlessly put it. Transitioning to the gender a person identifies with is the only known treatment for experiencing gender dysphoria. This process can be a long and arduous road. There are several psychological evaluations, doctors appointments and months and months of waitlists involved. Even people who are unable to start their transition due to medical issues, or perhaps are not old enough to do so – deserve to have their identities respected.

            3) Back in those days perhaps there were no operations available as we know them now, but people seemed to have more decency in respecting someone’s identity. Societal acceptance and perception are of more influence to how somebody is feeling than what is or isn’t respectively in their trousers. I could have undergone all gender reaffirming surgeries known to modern medicine, but it would mean absolutely nothing if everybody still insisted on calling me by the pronouns I don’t identify with.
            4) Being transgender is tough. Bigotry and ignorance is everywhere. On top of feeling insecure and rejecting your own body there is society debating your human rights and right to existence at every turn. To assume anyone would do it for the fun of it shows a gross contempt for the oppression faced by transgender people. You don’t get to decide for other people wether or not they are ‘truly transgender.’

    3. Chris says:

      I used to work at a plasma center, and one of the donors insisted on calling me Stephen. I would correct her, but she insisted I didn’t look like a Chris, I looked like a Stephen and that’s what she was going to call me. I wasn’t offended, but most of the time I wouldn’t respond to her unless she used the name I wanted to be called.

      The problem with calling someone as we see them rather than what they prefer to be identified as is this argument can be used by bullies. “I see this person as female rather than male so I’m going to call him a female name even if that’s not how he identifies.” It can also be misused by those intent on causing harm. “Today I feel like being a female so I’m going to use the girl’s locker room so I can see all the ‘other’ girls naked!” (both of these examples were provided to me by a former coworker who felt much the way the teacher in this article does)

      I don’t see the harm in referring to a boy as She if that’s what she chooses to be identified as. It’s not harming anyone. Transgender people are simply trying to live their own lives on their own terms and be who they feel they are. It’s the same thing every other person in the world wants. Some of them may change their minds later on, some may go back into hiding due to pressure from peers, but that doesn’t make them any less of a person. Being rude to them simply because you don’t like how they live their lives is unnecessary. Using religion as an excuse is cowardly. There is no harm in being accepting, or at the very least polite to these kids.

      I’m not judging you or calling you out specifically, Joe. I’m just answering your question. It’s a matter of civility, of manners.

  10. Don says:

    Romeo:

    [Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

    Juliet:

    ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
    Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
    What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
    Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
    Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
    What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other word would smell as sweet;
    So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
    Retain that dear perfection which he owes
    Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
    And for that name which is no part of thee
    Take all myself.

    Romeo:

    I take thee at thy word:
    Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized;
    Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

  11. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

    Tolerance does not extend to intolerance…..the bigoted piece of crap got what he deserved!

  12. Stephanie says:

    So many times I see posts like this and want to share whatever wisdom I can about the importance of being respectful and responsible towards yourself and those around you. These words often fall on deaf ears and it becomes tiresome. Be kind. If you can’t be kind; shut up.

  13. Akinya Khalfani says:

    I think we make simple things too complicated. If a person wants to be called horse, call them horse. It’s no different than a person named William being called Bill. Bill is not their name, but the person prefers it. The problem starts when we distract from the reason the students were there; to learn. If the teacher distracts from the student’s education, they are wrong. If the student distracts from the other student’s education, they too are wrong. If we keep the main thing, the main thing and not put our individual or collectives political views into it, everything will be okay. Bigotry is always the manifestation of fear. Cowards always attack what they do not understand and fear it may possibly manifest within themselves. When you know and are secure with who you are, you can accept others.

  14. Rev. Battle says:

    It is my humble thought that our place here in this realm is not to lend judgement on one another nor the path each the other chooses to tread. Each individual is entitled to choose their moccasins and the path that best suits their wear. Some choose open toe, some closed, some are beaded brightly, some plain, some are ankle high, others to the knees or higher. Some paths are dry and arid, some marshy, some are forested and others not, some paths are curved and some are straight. some are filled with hill and mountains, others flat. Most are many combinations of all of the above. Not a single person here can rightly or honestly say they know the sum of anothers path, already trodden or that that remains for them to travel. How then can any of us look to another’s choice in moccasins and judge the adequacy of the fit for their need? The honest answer is that we can’t. Judging others is a fruitless and wasteful expense of both time and energy. Judge not that which is not yours to judge. Help where help is needed, accepted, asked, and appreciated and be tolerant and kind or silent where it isn’t. Such are the teachings of many religious texts, written in many languages throughout our small world.

  15. Anna Harding says:

    He is a teacher in a school. Therefore he is an employee. When you go to work you leave things like freedom of expression and freedom of religion at the front door. When you are on the clock you represent your employer and you exhibit the values and policies of your employer. They don’t have to be yours, but by accepting employment you have agreed to do this thing.

    What you do and say on your own time is your own business. What you do and say on the clock is your employer’s business.

    If you don’t like these working conditions you are perfectly free to go down the street and find another employer. Until then do what you are being paid to do.

    1. Gary Emerson says:

      Ok, so what if a child wants to be referred to as ‘Jesus Christ’, or Lucifer, or twinkle tows, or ??? Do you think the teacher would have lost his job for not conforming to the snotty nose brat wishes??

      1. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

        Ludicrous argument. Gender identity has nothing to do with names, titles of authority, or mythological beings/creatures. Those probably would be considered delusions (not real). Like the little voices people hear when they believe “God” is talking to them … I would suggest listen closer, those little voices are their own consciences (delusions included).

        1. Gary Emerson says:

          Seems to me that we call these ‘people’ CHILDREN for a reason..If they are allowed to make these dangerous assumptions about themselves, why are parents needed?
          Parents are needed because these whiny butts have no common sense, no deductive reasoning powers and, by law, are not allowed to govern themselves. If we want to allow them to act like adults, make adult decisions, then lets kick them out of the house and make them get a job!! Can’t have it both ways as in acting as adults in schools but reverting to children when they get home..You want to be a grown up, cool, get out and support yourself.

          1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

            Assumptions??? Really??? The only assumption in this argument is whether you’re a moron or complete moron….I’m going with total dumbass!

          2. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

            The teacher’s religious freedom/rights end where the student and parents’ begin.

            I was fully aware of my own identity by 5 or 6. My religious experience was one of failure upon failure, and THAT god failed me. It was nothing less than abuse.

            When the adult role model is toxic, and his (indoctrinated) ignorant solution is Reparative Therapy and superstitions, he does not belong in any possible judgment and authority over children in the general.

            Don’t misunderstand me, he is free to believe whatever myths he chooses at home, abusing his own children, and around the members of his cult. However, such intolerant, noxious, unethical supervisory behaviors are inappropriate in the classroom environment.

        2. Greg M says:

          Its not though. Given the fact that this teacher got fired for referring to the person by their last name rather than using the “new” first name..

          1. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

            Either call all students by their last name, or address them with their preferred name. The mere actions of treating any child/children different, teaches hate and elitist thinking/actions.

            Remember the ol’ “green eyes” lesson from our childhoods? The isolating of any child creates a toxic environment. If the educator is unable to treat all students unbiased, he is unfit and teaching malicious social lessons other than the expected curriculum.

            Perhaps, for mere self-actualization and fulfillment, this guy should consider a profession in a private pseudo-education institution approved by his favorite cult of choice.

          2. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

            It’s not what he’s saying, it’s what he’s doing … and the lesson he is teaching the entire classroom.

    2. Rachel says:

      Interesting you say this… If I agreed then perhaps all of these disrespectful football players should stand during the national anthem … Tbey are working and are paid to play… No time for that bull crap either…

      It goes both ways.

  16. Ben says:

    Teacher or not, he is being punished for using common sense. Abetting dangerous habits like being transgender by using those pronouns is like telling a suicidal kid it’s okay to self-harm. Opinions don’t change genetics and an extremely small opinionated minority shouldn’t dictate what another person can and cannot say when they elected to be in that position. Perhaps we would be better off trying to help these children instead of allowing them to live a lie and pretend they are something they can never be. Also, comparing a classroom discussion of pronouns to “neutrally playing a speech by Hitler” is both ignorant and incredibly insensitive to the families of the millions that were killed in the Holocaust that actually suffered.

    1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

      You’re a special kind of stupid aren’t you, Ben…..just out of curiosity did any of your mothers children actually live!?

    2. Carol Waldenburg says:

      WOW. Ben, you really do exhibit a special kind of something nasty and vile.

  17. Duckin Acup says:

    Maybe he should be addressed as “Asshat Asshat” instead of “John Kluge”. The personal pronoun should be asshat. I mean, if he wants to be an asshat about it, then why should anyone refer to him by a name he prefers?

  18. Walter Feinberg says:

    Public school teachers have a moral, legal obligation and professional obligation to show respect to all of their students and to not impose their religious beliefs or attitudes on them, or to promote intolerant attitudes among them.

  19. Rev. Sal says:

    So, what I don’t understand is all the deep seated hatred towards the subject. How I do things is, if an individual looks like a girl, they’re referred to as ‘She’ or ‘Her’ until I’m corrected. I don’t ask for gender preference, I call it as I see it and if I’m corrected, I adjust. It’s not a hard thing to do. Is it not safe to assume that most, if not all of us are ministers here? Now, anyone who uses God as an excuse to preach hate is wrong, for God only spoke of love towards each other. When will we, as a people, learn to come together? Not all conservatives or Republicans agree with Trump or believe we all should have extreme stuff going on. Not all liberals or Democrats have a lack of faith. So stop assuming things about each other and talk with one another. You may find you were wrong about one another.

    1. Tom says:

      Rev. Sal…nicely expressed…Peace…Tom

    2. Rev Warner says:

      Amen!

  20. Stacey says:

    Mortified by much of this. As a life long Christian, Jesus taught to love the Lord your God with all your heart and to love others as yourself this is the whole of the Law. Respecting others and using kindness was the path of Jesus, and he I’d the ultimate example for Christian’s He hung out with “the sinners”, not disrespected them in the name of his own holiness.

    Even in the ancient ti.es I went to school, it was common practice to call students by preferred names, be they legal or nicknames. Pronouns don’t threaten anyone’s belief system. If his faith is so fragile, and his god so small, he is worthy of pity but not to be loved to harm others.

    By refusing to call students by their preferred pronoun, he is trying to force his own brief system on them and others.

  21. Rev Ned says:

    Let’s all sing the hymn! “Jesus loves me, but, he can’t stand you.”

  22. JimmyP says:

    Well , Back in The Dark Age when I went to School we were not allowed to use “ Nick Names “ be it on whatever paper we had to sign our names to or called by “ The Adults “ – Teachers , So kinda sorta in a way this ain’t no different. I can’t believe things people are allowed to get away with just cause they got their ‘ is that even allowed anymore ( their ) feelings hurt , My Goodness People get a lil thicker skin !!

  23. Robin says:

    There are only two genders in the world male or female that’s it. If a female has a sex change she is now, a male. If a male has a sex change, he is now a female….It is plain and simple…If they are in transition between the twowhere they are half and half then maybe society should come up with a pronoun for that stage where there is no confusion..Maybe that student should have patience with the teacher until the teacher can adjust….What does LBGTQ want, maybe they should do a little compromising….A lot of heterosexuals would not have voted for same sex marriage, if they knew it would cause all of these lawsuits and individuals losing their businesses and jobs. Heterosexuals were told that if they voted in favor, the stuff that is happening now: lawsuits, lost jobs, lost businesses would not happen….Heterosexuals were lied to….because of this s alleged lies that constitutes Fraud then just maybe that law of allowing same sex marriage should be rescinded.

    1. Anne says:

      This is absolutely nonsensical. Transitioning and/or gender reaffirming surgeries are not the ultimate bar to which to judge people. You cannot look inside someone’s underwear; it is of little importance to you what is there. What matters is how this person asks to be addressed. If heterosexuals don’t want lawsuits they should not discriminate against gay people, but be accepting and treat us like anyone else. Supporting human rights and equality for people of all walks of life does not warrant an applause or reward – it is the christian thing to do.

  24. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

    In the Navy, we referred to this employee/workplace conflict as “unfit for military duty”. Simply, this job was not a good fit for this band/orchestra/music teacher. If such personal “deeply-held religious beliefs” prevented him from performing his job and following Federal/State Department of Education standards and guidelines, he should probably find a new job where his paychecks are signed by “Jesus™”. Moral judgment of this child is not in his job description.

    On another note, I’ve known several closeted (terrified) music ministers who ended up praying the gay away, married, and with several kids to prove they were “healed”. Only to bring extreme chaos to the family and other people when they finally decided to come out. Looking at the picture of this guy, and considering his staunch anti-LGBTQ stance, my Gaydar is sounding the LATENT HOMO alarms!

    1. Gary Emerson says:

      Sheesh, things were so much simpler when you ‘people’ were in the closet..We should have locked the doors.

      1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

        If you “people” need to live in a Theocracy so badly, Gary, perhaps you should move to the Middle East…..they’ve plenty to choose from!!!

        1. Gary Emerson says:

          If you think that gay and lbgt behavior is ‘normal’, it only proves why there is a specific medical term of mental illness that pertains to you !!
          I don’t think there are any mental illness issues specific to the rest of us ‘normals’.

          1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

            LOL….you’re not the “norm” any longer, Gary, you’re type is drying up and decaying bit by bit and sooner than later the world will be rid of you & they.
            But then you already know this and because you understand this to your very core you struggle even harder to make your bigoted views palatable to the younger generation.
            You Lose!😉

          2. Gary Emerson says:

            Actually you lose, no reproduction equals no population…
            I don’t think ANY of you are capable of reproduction, at least I hope not!!

        2. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:
    2. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

      Gay parents do not always produce gay children, in so much as, Breeders do not always produce Breeders. (I’m living proof.)

  25. Mary says:

    He is paid to teach, his religion does not belong at school unless it’s a religious school. Respect goes both ways, if he treats his students with disrespect, that’s what he is teaching and by refusing to address them as the gender / name they identify with is disrespectful. If he truly has such deeply held religious beliefs, go teach at a religious school. Otherwise, do your job and teach by example, a good example, not one of disrespect. Religion is not an excuse to treat others badly because you disagree with them.

  26. Tabitha Feller says:

    Just anothe bigot trying to hide behind “religion”

  27. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

    So if a person stated “the earth is flat” or “we have no need of Dr.s or Surgeons only prayer” would you be respectful of their “opinions” or would you rather think they’ve quite a few screws loose and dismiss them outright? Of course you would dismiss them because we have medical and scientific fact proving their arguments to be false.
    The people who argue against transgender people are absolutely no different than a flat earther or medical denier. Medicine and Science have proved their argument false and they deserve no more recognition than any other idiot!

  28. Minister V says:

    What is so wrong with using the name the person requests? If the child’s name was Michael, but wished to be called Mike, did this so-called teacher refuse and only call the child Michael? Joe/Joseph? Elizabeth/Lisa?

    What makes that any different than the child having been named Robert and asking to be called Tammy?

    If Michael asked to be called Mike and this “teacher” obliged, then this “teacher” should have no issue using the preferred name for any other student. And if he can’t do that, he doesn’t deserve to be in the position he is. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  29. Jeff says:

    I personally believe this is an issue deeper than we think. First, the teacher is the teacher and if he is calling you by your legal name, nothing is wrong with that. If a transgender student desires to be called by another name, then get a name change, its easy a couple of forms and the filing fee, all in all it should cost between $150 – $500, depending on the state. Second, you are born either male or female, to act like the other gender is “pretending”. If the person is acting like the other gender that’s fine, but do not try to make every other person pretend along with you. Lastly, this is still a psychological condition known as Gender Dysphoria. It is accompanied by depression, anxiety and a host of other conditions that need treatment. Bottom line, if you want to be the other gender, have the surgery completed and end the confusion.

    1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

      Are you offering to pay for the needed surgeries, Jeff??? If so great if not then perhaps you should do a bit of studying on the subject prior to opening your pie hole!

      1. Gary Emerson says:

        Why are we even calling these people transgender?? Unless they have had their sex changed, they are simply posers, pretenders, wannabees.

      2. Ellen M. Santistevan says:

        Katelynn — I appreciate you standing up for trans youth, but it’s not always about medical treatments. Mostly, trans people spend months or years transitioning socially before they start any medical transitioning. Many people now are choosing not to have invasive medical procedures, or are unable to afford them, and are living the best life they can under whatever their circumstances are. Blessings to you.

  30. Gary Emerson says:

    amen

  31. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

    So now you’re offering to pay for the surgeries, Gary??

    1. Gary Emerson says:

      Well lets see…if I can’t afford a Corvette, do I just pretend to have one or do I save more money till I can..hence, if you can’t afford to become a ‘real’ transgender then shut the heck up till you can!!

  32. Bill Fox says:

    The teacher should find a job in the private sector.

  33. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

    WOW….You truly are ignorance personified, it’s a wonder you don’t hold a position in Herr Twittler’s Fascista Government!

  34. Christian says:

    So glad Asian countries create many advanced engineers, doctors, and scientists.

    If a school puts politics ahead of your kids learning, remove your children and place them in a school that strengthens their reading, math, sciences, and arts.

    Their careers, discoveries, patents, and inventions need real knowledge, and independence. No one needs the brainwashed Cult of Statism.

    If teachers are asking CHILDREN about their sexual behaviors, that is not focused on grades.

    Many teachers are in prison for crossing the line…

    Schools need clear policies to inform employees not to ‘hit on’ CHILDREN, or any aged student, as it is a clear and direct conflict of interest.

    ( Students should also refrain from dating behaviors during school hours, and focus their minds on learning.)

    Educators need to maintain professional relationships,
    not dating relationships, with students.

    All people have the same Natural God Given Rights they are born with.
    The right to free speech, self expression, self defense, private property.

    Using force , or threat of force, to enslave others to a particular cult or belief is unconstitutional.

    President Lincoln could not have been any clearer, and he paid for the Truth with his Life.

  35. Christian says:

    He can sue for wrongful dismissal,
    but if he did actually “resign” the courts may decide he quit his job.

    He could also sue for HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT, but win or lose is up to the Courts.

  36. Christian says:

    Thank goodness religious schools graduate some of the top performing scientists, engineers, doctors, inventors, and artists.

    To find a great Church school near you, just ask around.

    Also SUE YOUR STATE to get School Vouchers – you shouldn’t be forced by law to pay for school Twice.

    Every parent can take the cash Voucher and give it to their school of choice.

    Sports focus? Military? Religious ?
    STEM Focus ?

    Every child deserves a custom education that enriches their life.

    1. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

      I suppose that’s what the cults with schools are saying. Pseudo-scientists, pseudo-science – every person I know who went through the church’s “private school” were subjected to settling for a GED (it was not a real diploma).

      Please, don’t get me going on vouchers … equal access is NOT equal funding. Cult schools demanding public school funds, is nothing less than proselytizing at the government’s expense and Jesus™ Welfare. Private schooling is a personal choice, not a Constitutional Right.

      1. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

        AMEN Bro. James!!!!

        1. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

          I’m feelin’ The Spirit … These folks are gonna’ get me prophesying, and speaking in tongues, & sh*t!

      2. Liberty for ALL says:

        Private property is a Constitutional Right.

        States without School Vouchers
        are Pro-Slave States – kneel & worship the golden calf or men with guns come put you in prison and take away the children.

        There are no “public” schools, the Cult of Authoritarian Statism is a Religion.

        And since these high dollar schools repeatedly fail even the most basic security systems to protect the lives of kids – sending children to them is just neglect & child abuse.

        BIG GIVER-MINT is Your God & Satan all-in-one: handing out rewards to the wealthy few while bringing death and enslavement to the many.

        Recent news shows you
        how your “System” keeps children: kept in cages.

        The state sponsored indoctrination centers enforcing atheistic socialism are not part of the Constitution.

        Fortunately enough free market systems still exist to allow some children to escape Slavery and prosper through Home Schooling or Private Schools.

        There are good reasons why your Master Class and ruling elite send THEIR children to Walled off, Secured, well armed & defended very private schools :

        One set of rules for the peasants,
        and no rules for the Royals.

        School Vouchers literally give CONTROL back to
        WE THE PEOPLE.
        YOUR CHILDREN.
        YOUR CHOICE.

        So, Get up off the ground,
        break the chains from your brain,
        and come join the Free.

        Liberty is Wonderful.
        You will like it.

  37. RMC says:

    Being “transgender” is a mental illness. Kids professing it need help.

  38. Katelynne Victoria Shouse says:

    LOL…..you’ve no idea of what you’re talking about. Idiot!

  39. Colleen McAllister says:

    Quite simple. It is proper to call someone by their preferred name or title. That has no bearing on your religious freedom. Your approval of that name is not necessary.

    1. Ellen M. Santistevan says:

      AMEN. THANK YOU.

    2. Ellen M. Santistevan says:

      What I like to say is that any person’s identity does not invalidate your identity.

  40. Robert Tucker says:

    It is a very complex subject, but put simply. I do not believe pronouns, or speech in general, should not be regulated by law.

    Culture will change language, as it has done for millienia. You only have to look at the culture that surrounds the “N-word”. No law was passed that made the utterance of that word a criminal offence. It should be the same for gender pronouns.

    “Gay”, “perv”, “degenerate” were all words fully embraced in the LGB community since the Stonewall riots. When we used those words to describe ourselves we took the power behind those words and they could not hurt us. Much like the N-word in Pop Culture today.

    But with the strong movement to equate speech one doesn’t like as “hateful”, is like equating speech to physical violence. Laws are passed to end, or protect, people from violence.

    There was a common saying when I was growing up. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” (A mantra of mine growing up gay in a religious household.)

    Today, that saying sounds more like “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words could land you in jail.”

    The culture, and civility of humanity should determine its language usage. You can’t legislate morality. It is quite the opposite.

  41. Gene L. says:

    The Transgender people I have known changed their names Legally, through the Courts, just like everyone else who wishes to change their names in America. I called them by their Legal names. I’m going to go ahead and assume that parents of Transgender children, provide them with the same courtesy.
    Let’s all be neighborly and treat others as we want to be treated. Pretty much sums it up.

    1. Ellen M. Santistevan says:

      A name change takes a long time to do legally. Most students have not had the opportunity to do so, or they might not have supportive parents, or the money to file, etc. Please call people by the name that they are using, and use the appropriate pronouns.

  42. Robert C. says:

    As Religious people we are never to be intolerant of others beliefs or disbelief. That intolerance and bigotry is the problem civil free society presently holds against the extremist factions in power throughout the middle eastern nations. Although they take this issue a step further and murder gays and disbelievers, but in this instance the issue is merely refusing to call a child by it’s self adopted name.
    Jesus taught His disciples to shake the dust from your feet and go to the next place where ever the gospel was rejected. Let God judge, not us.
    If someone wants to be called “Snoflake” call him/her that. You only sin if you personally deny the existence of God just to comply with somebody else’s wishes. Not if you bake a cake for a group of anti-religious folk or take photographs to meet a client’s specifications.
    As for “modesty” in a bathroom, the solution is to put stalls with doors in large restrooms and take out the urinals, or in new buildings to comply simply put up single smaller unisex bathrooms at hallway intersections, large enough for only one person at a time. Yes this would dramatically raise building costs, but think about it, it would also cut down on a lot of the drug traffic activity in public schools! As a former teacher and graduate of public schools I can attest the big bathrooms is where much of this activity and school bullying takes place.

  43. Ellen M. Santistevan says:

    Everyone should read this article if you want to know what misgendering does to a person.

    https://letsqueerthingsup.com/2014/09/15/what-youre-actually-saying-when-you-ignore-someones-preferred-gender-pronouns/

  44. Tom says:

    From now on, I self identify as a cat. I shall be adressed from here on out as mittens.

  45. Rob Mittens says:

    Goodnight Mittens

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