Judge James E. Plowman, Jr. of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Virginia recently ruled for the Loudoun County, Va., school district to reinstate a physical education teacher who spoke out against LCPS Policy 8040, a policy that would require teachers to endorse transgender identity and use preferred gender pronouns, rather than the pronouns that correspond with their biological sex. In a pushback against the ‘woke’ mob and cancel culture, Bryan Tanner Cross said he refuses to refer to transgender students by their preferred pronouns because it contradicts his religious beliefs.
While the school suspended the teacher for refusing to follow the policy, the judge ruled that the suspension was a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech and that the school district shall immediately reinstate the teacher to his position. The Judge also asked the school district to remove the ban that was placed upon him from all buildings and grounds of the public schools.
President and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom Michael Farris said nobody should be punished for expressing concerns about government policy and that the court’s decision to halt the school’s retaliation will continue.
“Educators are just like everybody else—they have ideas and opinions that they should be free to express. 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. That’s neither legal nor constitutional,” Farris said.
Cross shared a 60 minutes segment on detransitioners, including 30 young people who had gender dysphoria and felt led astray because of how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies. He said that they have permanently mutilated their bodies “only to later reject the transgender identity” and that there are certain truths we must face when ready. He said it was against his religion that a biological boy can be a girl and vice-versa, adding that it’s lying to our children and a form of abuse.
“We condemn school policies like 8040 and 8350 because it would damage children, defile the holy image of God. I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them, regardless of the consequences,” Cross said.
Judge Plowman ruled the school’s actions were “extreme” and that Cross had been speaking as a citizen during nonworking hours at a forum where public comment was invited. They state that he did not disrupt the operations or services of Leesburg Elementary School and that he was fired over religious beliefs, not the school’s argument that it was because of his “ideals.”
According to reports, the school received six emails from parents requesting that their teacher have no contact with the physical education teacher, even though there was no evidence that his presence was disruptive. The school even sent out an email to notify all of the parents that Cross had been suspended, which the Court deemed as an “unnecessary and vindictive act” given that the end of the school year was so close.
While the Loudoun County Public Schools did not comment on the situation, both parties must schedule a trial date by June 16 on the merits. The Alliance Defending Freedom thanked the court for the order and added that dozens of other teachers have shared their beliefs on the policies without retaliation and that Tanner deserves to be treated with the same respect.
You’d expect more from a public school in the United States since our right to speak freely is protected under the First Amendment. Teachers should be able to express their opinions without being punished by the school board and administration, especially for telling the factual truth, and the fact that the school board had to be slapped by a Judge reveals just how violating this order was. Biden wants to cater to less than 1% of the population – and look at all of the problems it’s causing.