Two Virginia teachers have asked to be added to a lawsuit that requests that a Virginia county school policy requiring school staff to use students’ preferred pronouns be blocked.
Monica Gill and Kim Wright, who are respectively a high school history teacher and middle school English teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia, have filed an amended complaint to a lawsuit against the school board’s interim superintendent Scott Ziegler which challenges the policy, The Christian Post reported.
The lawsuit was originally filed by elementary school gym teacher Tanner Cross, who went viral after an impassioned speech before the school board which argued that the policy would force him to use speech that conflicted with his deeply held beliefs as a Christian.
Cross was promptly suspended from his job amid heated outcry over his dissident views, although a judge ordered that he be reinstated following a lawsuit.
The amended complaint including Gill and Wright argues that the policy, which was passed by the school board earlier this month, “communicates that gender identity, rather than biological reality, fundamentally shapes and defines who we truly are as humans, that our sex can change, and that a woman who identifies as a man really is a man.”
The complaint further alleges that if the teachers were to comply with the policy, “they would be forced to communicate a message they believe is false.”
Were the teachers to “refer to students based on their biological sex, they communicate the views they actually believe — that our sex shapes who we are as humans, that this sex is fixed in each person, and that it cannot be changed, regardless of our feelings or desires,” the amended complaint explains.
The challenge accuses the school district of refusing to “find middle ground” for teachers like Cross, Gill, and Wright, which has “made this case about far more than titles or pronouns.”
Indeed it has. The case has received national attention in a time when school districts across the country are facing oftentimes heated public debate over not only gender ideology, but sexual education as well as pandemic measures such as masks in school and vaccination requirements.
“[T]hey have taken a side in a national debate over competing views of human nature and compelled conformity to, and support for, only one view,” the complaint accuses the district. “Under the timeless free speech principles enshrined in the Virginia Constitution and laws, Defendants cannot compel one side to voice the other’s beliefs.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the teachers, says that their clients “shouldn’t be forced to promote ideologies that are harmful to their students and that they believe are false.”
“Loudoun County Public Schools is now requiring all teachers and students to deny truths about what it means to be male and female and is compelling them to call students by their chosen pronouns or face punishment,” ADF’s Tyson Langhofer said in a statement.
“Public employees cannot be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep a job. Freedom — of speech and religious exercise — includes the freedom not to speak messages against our core beliefs.”
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