Washington (CNN) A high school teacher in Michigan is furious after she was fired from a prestigious equestria school because of her stance on transgender issues.
“I have to work,” the teacher, whose name has not been released, said of her job in a video released Wednesday by the group Equality Michigan.
“It’s very challenging to be an educator who has to be able to communicate with students and make them feel safe.”
She says she has been “in constant fear of violence and discrimination.”
The teacher, who has been employed by the school since 2012, has said she was denied tenure because of the controversy over her decision to take a stand on transgender rights.
She was also fired for refusing to speak out against bullying and harassment of transgender students.
“This is just a continuation of the discrimination that transgender students have to deal with every day, especially in our public schools,” she said.
“You don’t get to go to a school and teach students in the way that you want.
You don’t have to be trans-inclusive.”
The group Equality Michiganders said it was “deeply disappointed” with the dismissal.
The group called on the school district to rescind its decision and apologize to the teacher.
The district released a statement saying it has no tolerance for discrimination in any form.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy in place to ensure all students are treated fairly and with dignity,” the statement said.
The district said it is considering whether to ask a federal court to intervene in the case.
The group’s executive director, Ashley Schaffer, said the teacher’s firing “was not about her personal beliefs, but rather her role as a teacher and advocate.”
“It’s an affront to transgender and non-binary people of color who are constantly being targeted in our society, often by other teachers who don’t understand or are insensitive to their experience,” Schaffer said.
She added, “She was not only a teacher, but an advocate, and she felt compelled to speak up about what she believes to be a very important issue for our community.”
Read more about transgender issues:The Michigan Education Association, which represents the district, said in a statement it “fully supports the right of all people to teach in accordance with their own beliefs and to do so without fear of retaliation or discrimination.”
It added, however, that the teacher has been fired for expressing her personal views and does not believe that her termination was justified.
“We recognize that this decision was made by a board that did not support Ms. Schaffer’s beliefs and for which she has expressed deep disappointment,” the group said.