Teacher breaks silence; he’s a she

Teacher breaks silence; he’s a she »Play Video

WEST LINN, Ore. – A long time teacher has been hiding a secret for years and when students return to school they will go from calling him “he” to “she”.

For 20 years Nicholas Kintz taught math at West Linn High School and while at home for the last three years she’s lived as Nicole Kintz.

"I would come home and what you see is what you get,” said Kintz referring to her present appearance. “Then in the morning, you know, jeans and a T-shirt to school and play the Nick game."

But that game is now over.

“I didn't want to live that way anymore," she said.

Kintz said she's felt this way since she was a child and decided to finally be true to herself by living life as a woman, which means she'll greet the new school year at West Linn High School as Ms. Kintz.

 "I've lived with this long enough to get to a point where I don't care what other people think. I'm not going to live my life on what other people think anymore,” she said.

 She began notifying the district last year.

  In a letter explaining the situation to staff earlier this month, principal Lou Bailey said the state changed the wording around discrimination a year and a half ago to address gender identity. He writes “we believe we have a teachable moment for ourselves ... our students and this community."

 Kintz said she doesn't plan on teaching transgender issues but said her lifestyle may raise awareness.

 "They might not have known anything about this before, but they're learning about it now and I'm the one that's going to teach them."

 But mostly she said she just wants to teach math.

"We're just trying to be normal people going in to do our job the best of our ability and go home, that's all. That's all I want to do," she said.

Kintz said it was not an easy decision for her. She said she has received an outpouring of support but knows there will be some who don’t agree. She said she just hopes people treat her as the teacher she’s always been.

Parents have mixed feelings on the issue.

“I’m a little surprised West Linn High would go in this direction,” said Curt Green.

“I feel that if she’s a good teacher, then she should have the ability to teach,” said Jonna Hongo.

“We are more concerned about a teacher’s right to live an extreme lifestyle in front of our kids than we are about the kids themselves, and about the parents’ rights,” said Michelle Green.

Phone calls to the school district and West Linn High school’s principal have not yet been returned.