Judge Reinstates Christian Teacher Who Was Suspended Over Views on School Pronoun Policy


A Virginia middle school PE teacher who was forced out over his very public refusal to use his students’ preferred pronouns has been reinstated following orders from a judge.

Byron “Tanner” Cross, a physical education teacher at Leesburg Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia, is being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in his lawsuit against the school district, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS).

Earlier this year, Cross was suspended after sharing his personal objections to the school’s policy on preferred pronouns, saying that it was a violation of his deeply-held Christian beliefs to do so.

The Daily Wire reports that Cross made national news after a speech to the school board in which he stated he would not adhere to any district policy that demanded faculty use students’ preferred pronouns or “allow gender-expansive and transgender students to participate in such activities in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity.”

“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, it’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God,” he also said during his impassioned comments.

Cross says he was suspended immediately after giving the speech, prompting him to seek help from the ADF, who announced this week that a judge had ordered his reinstatement.

“BREAKING: Tanner Cross, a Virginia elementary school teacher and ADF client who was suspended for raising concerns to the board about a proposed gender policy, has won a temporary injunction and the judge has ordered his reinstatement,” the law firm, which specializes in such cases, tweeted. “A massive victory for freedom of speech.”

The actions the school board is said to have taken against cross were characterized by the judge as “vindictive” according to local reporter Neal Augenstein of WTOP.

Judge James Plowman also found that the “school system’s suspension was unconstitutional,” Augenstein reported. While the school had claimed that Cross was suspended not for his beliefs, but because he had caused a “disruption,” the judge disagreed, saying that there was “simply an absence of evidence” that this was the case.

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