Loudoun County School Board Reverses Suspension of Teacher Who Spoke Out Against Transgender Policy

Tanner Cross
LCPS/Vimeo

The Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) school board in Loudoun County, Virginia, has agreed to reverse the suspension of teacher Bryon “Tanner” Cross, who was suspended earlier this year after he cited science and Christianity when opposing a draft policy that requires teachers to agree with children’s claim that they are members of the opposite sex.

The school board settled Cross’s lawsuit by agreeing to a permanent injunction prohibiting it from taking further action against the teacher, according to a report by Fox News.

“Just today, the court issued a final order permanently prohibiting the Loudoun County Public School Board from punishing me for freely expressing my views,” Cross said during a news conference after the settlement on Monday.

Physical education teacher Tanner Cross was fired after refusing to call a student by their preferred pronouns. Alliance Defending Freedom

Physical education teacher Tanner Cross was fired after refusing to call a student by their preferred pronouns. (Alliance Defending Freedom)

People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. - "Are you ready to take back our schools?" Republican activist Patti Menders shouted at a rally opposing anti-racism teaching that critics like her say trains white children to see themselves as "oppressors." "Yes!", answered in unison the hundreds of demonstrators gathered this weekend near Washington to fight against "critical race theory," the latest battleground of America's ongoing culture wars. The term "critical race theory" defines a strand of thought that appeared in American law schools in the late 1970s and which looks at racism as a system, enabled by laws and institutions, rather than at the level of individual prejudices. But critics use it as a catch-all phrase that attacks teachers' efforts to confront dark episodes in American history, including slavery and segregation, as well as to tackle racist stereotypes. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

People hold up signs during a rally against “critical race theory” (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) 

“I can now confidently continue teaching at Leesburg Elementary School without fear of punishment for expressing my views,” Cross added.

Cross and other teachers are still challenging Policy 8040 in court.

The policy requires school staff to refer to students by their claimed gender pronouns, give students who believe they are the opposite sex access to school facilities, groups, and sports teams of their biological counterparts, and complete training on topics related to LGBTQ+ students.

In the settlement, the school board, Loudoun County Superintendent Scott Ziegler, and interim Assistant Superintendent Lucia Villa Sebastian agreed to remove any reference to Cross’s suspension in his record.

They also agreed to abide by an injunction preventing them from retaliating against Cross for his speech against 8040, as well as pay $20,000 in legal fees. The settlement is not an admission of guilt on the part of the defendants, notes Fox News.

In June, the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Virginia ordered LCPS to immediately reinstate Cross. The school board later appealed the judge’s reinstatement of the teacher.

The lawsuit settlement comes after a Virginia judge ruled that a skirt-wearing male student at Loudoun County’s Stone Bridge High School is guilty of “forcible sodomy” in a girls’ bathroom sexual assault in May.

Around the time of the sexual assault in the girls’ bathroom, the LCPS was busy suspending Cross and concerning itself with the controversial transgender policy.

While gender fluidity was not raised during the hearing, court documents confirm the male suspect was wearing a skirt when the assault took place. Moreover, the school’s principal reportedly had no idea that the teen suspect identified as male.

After the female victim went to the principal’s office to report the rape, the principal asked the boy’s mother about her son’s gender identity.

“He identifies as male,” the mother recalled of what she told the principal, to which the principal reacted by saying, “Oh, we never knew that.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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