Former Indiana teacher sues over ousting over transgender student names

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BROWNSBURG, I.N. (AP) A former central Indiana teacher who lost his job after citing religious reasons for disagreeing with a policy compelling teachers to call transgender students by their preferred names rather than birth names has sued the district.

The federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the Brownsburg Community School Corp. and its administrators violated John Kluge’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion, among others.

The lawsuit seeks full back-pay and the value of benefits as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

The school corporation accepted Kluge’s resignation as a high school orchestra teacher one year ago despite his attempt to rescind the resignation.

School district spokeswoman Vicky Murphy declined to comment on pending litigation.

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