Teacher Reinstated After Refusing To Acknowledge Student Pronouns

Teacher Reinstated After Refusing To Acknowledge Student Pronouns

Teacher Reinstated After Refusing To Acknowledge Student Pronouns

In a tweet following the court ruling, ADF called the news "massive victory for free speech".

A Virginia teacher must be reinstated from leave after telling the school board he wouldn't address transgender students by their pronouns, a judge ruled. 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". And I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it is against my religion.

Cross is only the latest educator caught up in the controversy surrounding preferred pronoun rules in schools. He clarified that he loves the children he teaches, but he will not lie to them: "I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of [the] consequences". Cross was promptly suspended and prohibited from visiting school property.

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of Cross, saying that the district engaged in "viewpoint-based retaliation" in suspending him.

Like Cross, some parents, teachers, and students argue that public school administrators are out of line in compelling teachers to express or adopt ideological beliefs they do not hold or which offend their religious convictions.

While the suit continues to be litigated in court, Cross was temporarily vindicated when Judge James E. Plowman Jr. granted injunction, holding that Cross's religious liberty and free speech rights are integral to the case and that Cross's criticisms are protected by the First Amendment.

Judge Plowman added that "it is clear the plaintiff was speaking as a citizen, not in his official capacity", on a "matter of public concern".

During Friday's hearing, an attorney for the school system said the principal at Leesburg Elementary School had to remove Cross from one of his jobs the next day because he feared backlash from parents, and over the course of 48 hours, five parents asked him to remove their child from Cross's class. The defendant has also alleged that Cross disrupted and adversely affected the school's environment.

The Loudoun County School Board suspended Tanner Cross, a physical education teacher after he told the board at a May meeting that he objected to a proposed policy that would honor a student's pronouns - a policy meant to support trans students in the district. 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. Cross continued, "The truth is I'm not alone".

ADF President and CEO Michael Farris said that "Nobody should be punished for expressing concern about a proposed government policy, especially when the government invites comment on that policy".

The court granted Tanner Cross's request for a temporary injunction immediately, saying the district must allow him to return to his position and stop banning him from Loudoun County Public Schools property. "Advocating for solutions they believe in should not cost them their jobs", stated Farris.

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