A high school science and multimedia teacher in Oakhurst, Calif., who underwent hormone therapy has publicly announced her plans to return to school as a woman after the spring break.
Yosemite High School teacher Gary Sconce, 56, is returning to class after spring break as Karen Adell Scot. School officials have notified all 650 students of her planned return.
Scott said in a letter published by the Fresno Bee that she told her family last April after years of feeling she was woman trapped in a man's body. She underwent estrogen therapy and counseling to transition into Scot.
"I was a false, phony male person for 50 years," Scot wrote in the letter. "I covered the female inside with hyper-masculine behavior, trying to prove I was not the woman inside I actually was."
But her transition has come at a cost.
In the same letter, she wrote about the loss of her 35-year marriage, being on the brink of losing her home and having been shunned by her family and friends.
She asked her colleagues at the school to defend her from any verbal abuse.
Yosemite Unified School District officials have supported the veteran teacher, saying they were committed to protecting her rights of gender expression and identity.
They issued a letter to students and families notifying them that as of April 22 Scot's identity would be official in the classroom.
But some community members have been less than enthusiastic.
Kathi Bales wrote the Sierra Star, calling Scot's change “an assault on the minds and morals of our children."
"Some parents are pulling their kids out of classes and things like that and some of the staff is uncomfortable, which I don't understand because if you work with someone that long, they're not a different person, they're the same person just a different gender now,” Natalie Choin, a former student of Sconce's, told KFSN.