I started my career as a high school teacher in Louisiana. I worked hard every day to build engaging, fun lesson plans for my students, focused on their learning. I started my school’s first Model U.N club, took professional development classes to improve my teaching and stayed after hours making sure I was the best teacher I could be. By every measure, my students learned — and, as a result, I was named Rookie Teacher of the Year. But as this was Louisiana in 2001, and I faced the constant threat of being fired at any moment simply because I was gay.
This wasn’t just Louisiana in 2001. This was Louisiana last week. Any outstanding, high-performing teacher, truck driver or engineer could be fired not just there — but in more than a dozen states — not for dereliction of duty but because they happen to be gay or transgender.
Indiana was not one of those states. Thankfully, LGBTQ people have been protected in Indiana for nearly four years thanks to the bravery of another teacher, Kimberly Hively, whose willingness to stand up to bigotry not only changed Indiana law, but paved the way for this week’s Supreme Court decision.
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