A teacher who was suspended by a Loudoun County school for speaking out against the county’s new gender ‘pronoun policy’ has just been reinstated by a judge.
Before we explain what happened, here’s the short speech that got Byron “Tanner” Cross suspended:
What a fantastic speech. Cross not only stands against the ridiculous policy, but he does so because it would “damage children and defile the holy image of God.” He also adds that he will not lie to children about their gender, claiming “it’s abuse to a child, and it is sinning against our God.”
Below is the full transcript of his comments:
My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who suffer with gender dysphoria. ‘60 Minutes’ this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned, but they felt led astray because lack of push back or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies in just three months. They are now detransitioning. It’s not my intent to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies, like 8040 and 8035, because it would damage children and defile the holy image of God. I love all 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 is against my religion, it’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it is sinning against our God.”
Wow. Talk about bravery!
The school he works for was quick to suspend Cross, but a judge was quick to reverse that decision:
NBC NEWS – A Virginia judge ordered a Loudoun County school to reinstate a teacher who was suspended after he spoke out against a proposed policy requiring educators to address students by their preferred pronouns.
In a ruling Tuesday, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge James Plowman said that the teacher, Byron “Tanner” Cross, was exercising his free speech and ordered the school to “immediately reinstate the plaintiff to his position as it was prior to the issuance of his suspension.”
Plowman’s ruling remains until a full trial can be held.
Cross’ attorney Tyson Langhofer celebrated the news and said that the school’s suspension was “neither legal nor constitutional.”
“Educators are just like everybody else—they have ideas and opinions that they should be free to express,” he said in a statement. “Advocating for solutions they believe in should not cost them their jobs. School officials singled out his speech, offered in his private capacity at a public meeting, as ‘disruptive’ and then suspended him for speaking his mind.”
Cross, a physical education specialist at Leesburg Elementary School, was placed on paid administrative leave May 27, two days after he said at a school board meeting that following the proposed policy would go against his religious beliefs.
Two days after the meeting, Cross received a letter from the school saying that he was placed on leave for allegedly engaging “in conduct that has had a disruptive impact on the operations of Leesburg Elementary School.”
The school board had no comment, as you might imagine. I’m glad this worked out for Cross and that he’s now reinstated. But even if the judge had upheld the suspension, I’m quite sure that there are plenty of schools that would have hired Cross in a flat second.