An Indiana high school teacher said he was forced to resign after he refused to call a transgender student by their name of choice, WRTV reported Friday.

John Kluge, who taught orchestra at Brownsburg High School, said he did not agree with a school policy that requires teachers to call transgender students by their preferred name.

"I feel the compelled speech of forcing a teacher to take a side on this very highly controversial topic is a violation of our First Amendment rights," Kluge told WRTV.


The Brownburg Community School Corporation allows for a student to change their name if a parent and health care professional submit a letter.

When a student followed that procedure, Kluge said he was presented with a difficult choice by school administrators — follow the policy, resign or be fired.

Kluge decided to voluntarily submit his resignation because, he told the station, he believed that he would be terminated if he didn’t, the news station reported.

Kluge said the meetings with the high school’s administration were “very threatening” and “bullying," but he now wants his job back.

"I enjoy being the orchestra teacher at Brownsburg," Kluge wrote in a statement. "It's unfortunate that the administration is not letting me come back and that they are unwilling to continue a reasonable accommodation that most people consider to be very common sense."