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.
“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.
“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.
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.”