“… I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion. It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God.”
Virgina elementary school physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross was suspended after he appeared at a Loudon County School Board meeting, and voiced his views on student transitioning in the aftermath of a 60 Minutes segment.
Fox News reported:
During a Loudoun County school board meeting Tuesday, teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross voiced his opposition to policies surrounding gender.
“My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria,” Cross told the board. He went on to discuss a “60 Minutes” special about the issue.
“’60 Minutes’ this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned but they felt led astray because of lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies… They are now detransitioning,” he said.
“It’s not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies [that] would damage children, defile the holy image of God.
“I love all of my students but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I’m a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion. It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God.”
Now he has filed suit, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious liberty legal group with a very successful track record, including in the U.S. Supreme Court. ADF’s Press Release on the lawsuit states, in part:
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a Leesburg Elementary School teacher filed a lawsuit against Loudoun County Public Schools Tuesday after officials suspended him for voicing his objections to two proposed school policies during the public comment period of a school board meeting. The policies would force teachers to violate their conscience as educators and their deeply held beliefs by requiring them to address students with their chosen pronouns rather than the ones consistent with their biological sex.
The teacher, Tanner Cross, attended Loudoun County’s school board meeting May 25, where he respectfully explained his concern for students who struggle with gender dysphoria and also his concern about being forced to speak something he knows to be false and to violate his beliefs. Two days after the meeting, the school informed Cross in a letter that he was being placed on administrative leave “pending an investigation of allegations that [he] engaged in conduct that had a disruptive impact on the operations of Leesburg Elementary School.” …
ADF attorneys sent a letter to the school district Friday explaining that placing Cross on leave and barring him from campus because of his constitutionally protected speech constituted illegal retaliation. ADF requested that the school reinstate Cross, rescind the suspension and remove the letter from his file, and refrain from any future retaliation against protected speech if the district wished to avoid legal action.
The school responded to the letter by doubling down on its unconstitutional actions and stating that it intends to stand by its decision to suspend Cross. In response, ADF attorneys filed suit against the school district Tuesday and asked the court to immediately halt the enforcement of Cross’s suspension.
As the lawsuit Cross v. Loudoun County School Board filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court explains, the school board’s actions violated the Virginia Constitution when it punished Cross by retaliating against him for expressing his beliefs in a public forum, and also violated his free exercise of religion by discriminating against his religious beliefs.
What could be key in the Cross case is that he didn’t even violate a policy, he expressed opposition to a proposed policy.
A ruling is expected as early as Monday, since emergency injunctive relief is sought.
This case seems similar to the case of Dr. Nicholas Meriwether, also represented by ADF, we followed, Professor Who Refused To Obey “Preferred Pronouns” Can Continue Lawsuit, Appeals Court Rules.
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