Update: The Loudoun County School Board has agreed to leave Tanner Cross alone — permanently. The board suspended him because he opposed the “transgender” policy, but a court ordered him reinstated. The Virginia Supreme Court upheld this decision. Now the board has agreed to remove references to the suspension from his personnel file and pay $20,000 toward his legal fees.
Tanner Cross, a physical education teacher at a government school in Loudoun County, Virginia, spoke at a school board meeting during the public comment period about a then-proposed rule that would require teachers and students to embrace “transgenderism” and refer to “transgender” male and female students by opposite-sex pronouns.
Cross said the biological sexes can’t be changed. Board members did not like that he stated a scientific fact, which was contrary to the government’s indoctrination, so they suspended him.
Cross filed a lawsuit against the Loudoun County School Board’s “transgender” policy and his suspension. A court contended that Cross likely would win his lawsuit and ordered the district to reinstate him while it was pending. Cross said that he’s a teacher, “but I serve God first.”
The board appealed the court’s decision. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represents Cross and two other teachers who’ve challenged the policy. The state’s highest court upheld the lower court’s decision.
ADF announced that a court heard arguments last week on the teachers’ motion for a preliminary injunction.
“Teachers should be free to advocate for the good of their students,” ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Bangert said. “Loudoun County Public Schools is persistently pushing radical viewpoints on our children. Instead of encouraging kids to learn about a variety of perspectives, Loudoun County schools are indoctrinating students with controversial and harmful ideologies, and forcing both teachers and students to go along. We hope the court will halt the district’s unconstitutional actions while our lawsuit moves forward.”
Loudoun County has been at the center of a backlash against school policies that include teaching “critical race theory,” adopting “transgender” policies, and requiring students to wear masks all day. The school district has been accused of covering up accusations that a male student wearing a skirt raped a female student in the girls’ bathroom.
The president and CEO of the National School Boards Association (NSBA) wrote a letter to President Joe Biden in September, asking his administration to investigate parents for “threats” against school board members and compared them to domestic terrorists. In response, Attorney General Merrick Garland tasked the FBI to work with local law enforcement to investigate the threats in a memo. The NSBA’s board of directors later apologized to members for the letter, effectively rescinding it. On this basis, lawmakers asked Garland to withdraw his memo. So far, he has not done so.
Many credit the letter, the memo, and parents’ frustration with schools for Virginia turning red on November 2, 2021. Glenn Youngkin defeated former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe 50.9 percent to 48.4 percent. Virginians voted for Winsome Sears for lieutenant governor, the first black woman elected to statewide office in Virginia, and Jason Miyares for attorney general, the first Hispanic to hold the office.
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