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PO BOX 2340 Austin, TX 78768-2340 P 512.474.5475 F 512.474.6297 www.equalitytexas.


Chuck Smith Executive Director Lauren Zurbrgg Development Manager Daniel Williams Field Organizer / Legislative Specialist Lisa Scheps Operations Manager

April 9, 2014

The Trustees of the Lumberton Independent School Board 121 South Main Lumberton, TX 77657

Dear Sirs and Madams; We have read with much distress recent reports that the Lumberton Independent School District has suspended substitute teacher Laura Jane Klug because she is transgender. As the fiduciary agents of LISD we want to be certain that you are aware that denying employment on the basis of a persons gender expression is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that doing so creates liability for the district. More importantly, discrimination in employment because a person is transgender is a violation of basic Texas values. We are a state that, above all else, believes that anyone who is willing to work hard, and does their job well, deserves a chance. Denying that equal dignity runs contrary to the deepest fibers that weave us together. By all accounts Ms. Klug is an excellent educator. The sole reason for her suspension (and the sole reason her dismissal is being contemplated) is her gender expression. What lesson, as educators and parents, are we teaching our children when we behave as if some people are not worthy of respect or of being given a chance because of who they are? As the chairs of Equality Texas and the Equality Texas Foundation we encourage you to quickly correct this error, reinstate Ms. Klug and revise your employee manuals to comply with the law. Respectfully as fellow Texans,

Board of Directors
Sam Tornabene Chair, Dallas Danny Ramon Vice-Chair, Austin Jeanne Rubin Secretary, Frisco Perry Heitman Treasurer, Austin Chris Bell, Houston Christopher Busby, Houston Richard Farias, San Antonio Felipe Gutierrez, Ft Worth Whitney Kelly, Amarillo Saul Reyes, Dallas Steve Rudner, Dallas Kayla Shell, Austin Brian Thompson, Austin Julian Tovar, San Antonio Kathryn Winters, Denton

Sam Tornabene, Chair, Equality Texas

Steve Rudner, Chair, Equality Texas Foundation