Loudoun County Public Schools proposed a rule (which the school board eventually passed) that would require teachers to go along with individuals’ fantasies of being members of the opposite sex. They would be forced to refer to male students pretending to be girls as “she,” and vice versa.
Physical education teacher Tanner Cross, a Christian, expressed opposition to the proposed policy during a public comment period. The school district suspended Cross for his open dissent, but a court ordered the district to reinstate him while his lawsuit challenging the policy is pending.
“I’m a teacher, but I serve God first,” Cross said.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents Cross, announced that the Virginia Supreme Court on Monday upheld the lower court’s decision.
ADF recently amended Cross’s original complaint to add two Loudoun County teachers who sought to join the lawsuit. All the plaintiffs contend that the policy requires them to speak a message contrary to what they believe.
The new policy forces all of the school district’s students and staff to refer to “gender-expansive or transgender” students using whatever gender pronoun is chosen by the student, regardless of whether the pronoun is consistent with the student’s biological sex.
To support its ruling in Loudoun County School Board v. Cross, the Virginia Supreme Court pointed to another ADF case, Meriwether v. Hartop, in which “the Sixth Circuit emphatically held that a university professor stated viable free speech and free exercise claims based on his university’s disciplining him for refusing, based on his Christian faith, to use a student’s preferred pronouns.”
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