Judge Orders Loudoun County Teacher to Be Reinstated

A judge has granted a temporary injunction to reinstate a teacher in Virginia who was suspended after voicing objections to a proposed school board policy regarding “transgender” students.

The details?

Tanner Cross, a P.E. teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia, spoke at a school board meeting where he opposed Loudoun County’s policy and refused to call students by their “preferred pronouns.”

The proposed policy states, “staff shall allow gender expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence.”

Cross was suspended from his job shortly after the board meeting.

In response to his suspension, Cross filed a lawsuit against Loudoun County Public Schools, claiming his First Amendment rights were violated. Cross then went to court for an injunction to get the suspension lifted while the lawsuit continues.

This week, Circuit Court Judge Jim Plowman Jr. issued an injunction to reinstate Cross, stating the teacher’s religious liberty and speech are at the center of the case.

This is a victory for religious freedom, but the actions of the Loudoun County school system do not bode well for how they view the First Amendment rights of teachers—a concern Cross shares.

“When the school suspended me, they were sending a message to me and other teachers: They will punish teachers who speak out,” Cross said. “LCPS [Loudoun County Public Schools] should not require me to violate my conscience and lie to my students, and I care too much for my students to lie to them.”

In 2018, Pasco County Schools administrators in Florida threatened a male P.E. teacher who had a conscience-based objection to supervising a gender-confused girl who was given full access to disrobe in the boys’ locker room and even use the open showers. Administrators tried to force the male teacher to directly supervise and observe the girl while showering naked in the boys’ open shower. School officials also did not want to inform the parents of the situation so the boys’ privacy could be protected.

The school district lawyer warned the teacher, “You know this might cost you your job. Your teacher certificate might be taken from you to where you can no longer teach. Because there’s no policy for black and white students to be able to change together, the district doesn’t need a policy for a transgender boy [biological girl] to change with the other boys.”

Liberty Counsel successfully defended the male P.E. teacher in Pasco County who continues to teach at the school without threat of this situation.


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