Teacher Suspended for Refusing to Use Trans Pronouns Gains Legal Support, Fights Back
Byron 'Tanner' Cross sues school for violating the Virginia Constitution
P.E. teacher at Leesburg Elementary School, Byron “Tanner” Cross, was suspended last week after refusing to affirm a pupil's “transgender” pronoun, citing his Christian faith.
But Mr.Cross continued to stand firm and had gained legal support to fight back.
A nonprofit legal organization working to protect religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), is now fighting for Cross.
Last week, Cross sued the school district and is now represented by ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer.
“Public schools have no business compelling teachers to express ideological beliefs that they don’t hold, nor do they have the right to suspend someone simply for respectfully providing their opinion at a public meeting."
“The school district favors a certain set of beliefs on a hotly contested issue, and it wants to force Tanner to cry uncle and endorse them as well."
"That’s neither legal nor constitutional, and neither was the school’s move to place Tanner on leave.”
School system attorney, Stacy Haney, accused Cross of disrupting the school with his remarks, claiming the school’s decision was not based on his belief but the disruption.
ADF sent a letter to the district about Cross's suspension and requested he is reinstated.
But the school responded “by doubling down on its unconstitutional actions and stating that it intends to stand by its decision to suspend Cross,” according to an ADF press release.
“In response, ADF attorneys filed suit against the school district Tuesday and asked the court to immediately halt the enforcement of Cross’s suspension.”
ADF accused the school board of violating the Virginia Constitution and Cross’ free exercise of religion protected under the First Amendment
“Loudoun County Public Schools officials suspended an elementary school teacher for voicing his objections to two proposed school policies during the public comment period of a school board meeting,” ADF emphasized.
“The policies would force teachers to violate their beliefs by requiring them to address students with their chosen pronouns rather than the ones consistent with their biological sex.”
As reported by Neon Nettle, below is the comments Cross made which led to his suspension.
“My name is Tanner Cross, and I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria,” Cross said during his brief speech, which referenced school district policies demanding Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) staff use preferred pronouns and “allow gender-expansive and transgender students to participate in such activities in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity.”
“’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 in just three months. They are now detransitioning.”
“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,” he continued.
“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,” Cross concluded.