June 07, 2018
Indiana's Brownsburg High School doesn't want good teachers. It wants politically correct ones. And administrators will do anything -- including forcing out Christians -- to get them.
When John Kluge was told he had to start addressing kids by their "preferred" names, he went straight to the school's administrators. A child may be struggling with their gender identity, but he couldn't in good conscience encourage them down that dangerous path. The two sides compromised, telling John he could call the students by their last names instead. After several months, though, the school reneged, insisting he had to comply or resign.
With no real choice but to lose his job or violate his faith, he gave notice. "They're acting as if I have [resigned], even though I'm pleading, 'No,'" he said according to the Indianapolis Star. "I'm not dead yet. I still want to work here." Kluge said he only tendered his resignation because they threatened to fire him. Still, he says, his beliefs haven't changed. "I'm being compelled to encourage students in what I believe is something that's a dangerous lifestyle," he said. "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."
And not just scary, damaging. Encouraging this kind of gender confusion is "child abuse," the American College of Pediatricians has warned. "When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such." Not to mention, the experts go on, that this is typically a phase that most children grow out of. "As many as 98 percent of gender confused boys and 88 percent of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty."
Kluge's approach, then isn't one of tolerance, but compassion. "I view my responsibility to students in my community as more than just helping them become the best musicians they can be," he said in a statement. "I wish to remain a teacher in good standing with the administration. However, as much as I love my job and would desire to keep it, I cannot take actions that could encourage harm to the students in my care and provide a poor example for others. I ultimately must submit my conscience to a higher authority."
Next Monday, Kluge has requested a meeting with the school board with the hope of being reinstated. If he is, he'll have the support of plenty of Brownsburg families. Pastor Jim Bohrer, whose daughter is one of Kluge's students, says Kluge has always been well-liked and respectful. "He treats them all the same," Bohrer said. "He cares deeply. This is not an issue of John excluding anyone. This is purely the administration trying to get rid of John for his convictions."
If you're a Hoosier (or even if you aren't), take a minute to contact the Brownsburg school board. No one -- let alone a teacher looking out for his students' best interest -- should be forced to choose between his career and his convictions!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.