VA Supreme Court Upholds Reinstatement of Teacher Tanner Cross, Who Objected to “Preferred Pronoun” Policy
Alliance Defending Freedom: “Teachers shouldn’t be forced to promote ideologies that are harmful to their students and that they believe are false, nor should they be silenced for commenting at a public meeting.”
Byron “Tanner” Cross is the Loudoun County Teacher who criticized a propose “preferred pronoun” during an appearance at the school board public hearing.
“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.”
The video went viral:
Cross was suspended, and we covered his lawsuit, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, Virginia Teacher Sues Over Suspension For Publicly Opposing Proposed “Preferred Pronoun” Policy.
That reinstatement was just upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court. You can read the full Order here.
The Virginia Supreme Court issued an order Monday that affirms a lower court’s decision to temporarily reinstate Leesburg Elementary School physical education teacher Tanner Cross after Loudoun County Public Schools suspended him for voicing objections to a proposed policy during the public comment period of a school board meeting. The lower court ruled that the school district’s actions were likely unconstitutional, and the state high court agreed….
“Teachers shouldn’t be forced to promote ideologies that are harmful to their students and that they believe are false, nor should they be silenced for commenting at a public meeting,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. “The lower court’s decision was a well-reasoned application of the facts to clearly established law, as the Virginia Supreme Court found. But because Loudoun County Public Schools is now requiring all teachers and students to deny truths about what it means to be male and female and compelling them to call students by their chosen pronouns or face punishment, we have moved to amend our lawsuit to challenge that policy on behalf of multiple faculty members. Public employees cannot be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep a job.”
To support its ruling in Loudoun County School Board v. Cross, the Virginia Supreme Court pointed to another ADF case, Meriwether v. Hartop, in which “the Sixth Circuit emphatically held that a university professor stated viable free speech and free exercise claims based on his university’s disciplining him for refusing, based on his Christian faith, to use a student’s preferred pronouns.”
It’s a victory for now. ADF is seeking to amend the Complaint to make the reinstatement permanent.DONATE
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