BROWNSBURG, Ind. (AP) - A central Indiana teacher says a school district forced him to resign following a disagreement over a policy that calls for teachers to address transgender students by their preferred gender name rather than their birth name.

The Indianapolis Star reports that former Brownsburg High School orchestra teacher John Kluge says the Brownsburg Community Schools policy goes against his religious beliefs and violates his First Amendment rights.

LGBTQ community advocates say the practice is a sign of respect and isn't about religion or politics.

A district representative says Kluge resigned before the end of the school year. Kluge says he submitted a tentative resignation letter because officials threatened to fire him.

Kluge plans to appeal to the school board Monday to get his job back.

District officials declined to comment on the policy.

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