John Kluge, who taught music at the Brownsburg Indianapolis Community School Corporation before being forced to resign in 2018, has lost a case against the school for discriminating against him after he refused to call his transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns. Despite reaching a compromise to only use the last names of his students, the Christian teacher was forced to resign in the Spring of 2018.
According to Christian Headlines, Indianapolis Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson ruled in a 52-page decision that the school could not accommodate "religious beliefs without sustaining undue hardship" on the school, its faculty, and its students.
Conflict began at the end of the 2017 school year when the faculty, according to Magnus-Stinson, was shown a presentation on "what it means to be transgender and how teachers can encourage and support transgender students."
Kluge and three other teachers met with the principal in May 2017 to discuss their "religious objections to transgenderism and other information supporting their position that BHS should not 'promote transgenderism'" through a letter the four teachers wote.
Judge Magnus-Stinson, who was nominated by President Barack Obama wrote in the decision that Kluge and the three teachers' letter "specifically asked" that the school faculty and staff to "not be required to refer to transgender students using their preferred pronouns and that transgender students not be permitted to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice."
The three other teachers eventually complied with the school's policy, but Kluge stood by his religious beliefs. Judge Magnus-Stinson decided that by allowing the Christian teacher an "accommodation" or exception to the rule, it would result in complaints from transgender students who believed they were "targeted and dehumanized," which can lead to a Title IX discrimination lawsuit.
The judge decided that Kluge being at the school "created a risk of liability" and that the school considered such risk in deciding whether to keep him as school faculty. For now, Kluge's attorney Kevin Green said that the legal team is "evaluating Judge Magnus-Stinson's order, which we just received yesterday, to consider our options going forward," the Indiana Lawyer reported.
This is not the only time Christian teachers have been targeted and discriminated against by schools and the justice system to uphold the LGBT agenda. Tanner Cross from Virginia is in a court battle against Loudoun County Public Schools after he said he could not "lie" to students about the fact that there are only two sexes: male and female, and that one cannot just choose to be the other and vice versa.
"This isn't just about a pronoun, it's about what that pronoun means," Tyson Langhofer, a senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) which defends teachers such as Kluge and Cross to fight for their religious freedoms, told TIME in 2019. "No one should be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep a job."