Judge Reinstates Loudoun County Teacher Fired For Refusing To Use Trans Pronouns

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 10, 2021

The court instructed Loudoun County Public Schools to "immediately reinstate" Mr Cross and rescind its ban barring him from school grounds while his lawsuit goes forward. He opposed a proposed policy that would let transgender and "gender-expansive" students use names and pronouns "that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student's permanent educational record".

"My name is Tanner Cross, and I am speaking out of love for those who suffer with gender dysphoria", Cross, the PE teacher at Leesburg Elementary, said during the public comment segment of the school board meeting.

Represented by attorneys from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an Arizona-based public interest law firm that specializes in civil and religious liberties litigation, Cross on June 1 asked the Virginia Circuit Court for Loudoun County to force the school system to withdraw its disciplinary actions via a Temporary Restraining Order while the case proceeds.

He said he would never "affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa".

He continued: "LCPS should not require me to violate my conscience and lie to my students".

He called the board's decision to suspend Cross "an unconstitutional action" that "has silenced others from speaking publicly on the issue", according to The Washington Post.

"Here, it was clear that the Plaintiff was speaking as a citizen, not in his official capacity".

The Washington Post reported that the Virginia school system can petition for a review of the judge's ruling within 15 days, but LCPS declined to comment on the ruling. In response, the school system embarked on comprehensive reforms meant to promote racial equity - but the work became mired in controversy after some parents alleged teachers are instructing White children to feel ashamed of their race. "Many of us are concerned that [the] proposed policies would harm students and require us to violate our beliefs by saying things that are not true". This lawsuit was over whether public school could punish teachers for objecting to proposed policies as a private citizen in "a forum designed for the objective of considering whether to implement such policies, where the policy would force him to express ideas about human nature, unrelated to the school's curriculum, that he believes are false", said his complaint. Educators are just like everybody else - they have ideas and opinions that they should be free to express. That's neither legal nor constitutional.

Cross believes using someone's preferred pronouns can "damage" them and "defile the holy image of God". "Dozens of other teachers have shared their beliefs on various policies without retaliation; Tanner deserves to be treated with the same respect", he said.

After the judge's decision came out, a school board meeting was held in person for the first time in months. The temporary injunction will allow Cross to maintain his job until December 31, at which point the injunction will dissolve unless other orders are put in place.

Not only was Cross suspended for participating in a public event, but he was penalized with more than employment suspension, including the school board restricting him from school property.

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