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Fired: Teacher Resists Transgender Label for Pupil


A former Texas educator filed a federal discrimination complaint against a learning center in Katy, Texas, after being fired for refusing to address a 6-year-old girl as a transgender boy.

Madeline Kirksey, a former manager of the Children's Lighthouse Learning Center, was fired on November 3. According to a copy of the complaint, Kirksey refused to treat the child as male and call the child by a male name.

Kirksey told ABC News that the parents cut the child's hair, changed the child's name and asked the school to respect their decision.

Kirksey says she was unable to give her approval to the change in gender identity because of her religious beliefs and was promptly fired.

"At her age she was indecisive," Kirksey recalled the child's behavior. "Some days she wanted to be a girl; some days she wanted to be a boy. It was according to what situation she got in that day."

Kirksey and her former co-worker Akesha Wyatt have taken legal action against the school.

"Madeline has paid the price for standing her ground in defense of all her children at Children's Lighthouse," her attorney, Andy Taylor, said in a statement. "This has gotten out of control and now this dedicated experienced child care worker has been wrongfully terminated. That will not stand."

James Izaks, a spokesman at the corporate headquarters of the Children's Lighthouse Learning Centers, would not comment on the case out of concern for the student's privacy.

However, he said the company cares about the welfare of its students and did not discriminate against the teachers.

He also said he believes the case is part of a bigger national agenda on transgender rights.

"It seems to be that this individual has an agenda that goes beyond her students best interest and beyond her termination," Izaks said.

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