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Virginia Teacher Who Refused To Use Student’s Pronouns Trying To Get His Job Back

A Virginia school board is fighting to appeal a judge’s decision to reinstate a high school teacher who refused to refer to students by their preferred pronoun.

Gym teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross, speaking up at a school board meeting in May, said that his religious beliefs prevent him from affirming “that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa,” NBC reported.

Cross added that the referral to a student as such is “abuse to a child” and sinning against God. He also said that he was “speaking out of love for those who suffer with gender dysphoria.”

“I love all of my students but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I’m a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion,” he said.

Loudoun County Public Schools enforced a policy that would require educators to refer to students by their chosen name or pronoun when asked to do so. The policy aims to create a “safe and inclusive learning environment” for the students. 

Additionally, the policy permits students to use “their chosen name and gender pronounces that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence.” 

Cross, adamant against adhering to the policy, was subsequently suspended and placed on administrative leave for being “disruptive” to school operations. A county judge later ruled that Cross was exercising his freedom of speech when he criticized the policy and ordered the district to “immediately reinstate” him. 

The judge added that the school’s decision was “extreme and vindictive,” Meaww reported.

A spokesperson for the school district said they would be appealing the judge’s decision to the state supreme court. 

The Alliance Defending Freedom’s attorneys who represent Cross said “there is no reason” for the Virginia Supreme Court to take the appeal. 

“Public schools have no right to suspend someone simply for respectfully providing their opinion at a public meeting,”senior attorney Tyson Langhofer said in a statement. “The school district wants to force Tanner to endorse its ideals and shut down any opposing views. That violates the Constitution and laws of Virginia, and so did the school’s move to place Tanner on leave.”

Michael Farris, president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom, said the decision to suspend Cross was “neither legal no consitutional.”

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