A teacher that was suspended for misgendering a trans student has been reinstated at the same school.
Gym teacher, Byron 'Tanner' Cross, who works at Leesburg Elementary School in Virginia, claimed his religious beliefs prevented him from referring to the student by their preferred pronouns.
#BREAKING: Judge says Loudon County Teacher Byron Tanner Cross can return to work.— Lorenzo Hall (@LorenzoHall) June 8, 2021
Cross was suspended after saying at a public hearing —- he would not refer to students who are transgender by their chosen pronouns or names.
This contradicts the school's policy, which states: "Staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence."
Yet Fox News reports that Judge James E. Plowman has since overturned the school's decision, declaring he has the right to free speech.
BREAKING: Loudoun County judge rules @LCPSOfficial must reinstate suspended teacher Byron Tanner Cross, who spoke against proposed gender pronoun policy at school board meeting. Judge calls school system's suspension unconstitutional and its handling of situation "vindictive."— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) June 8, 2021
As per Fox News, Judge Plowman wrote: "The Court has found...that the disruption relied upon was insufficient.
"Balancing all of the factors and weighing the facts presented, the Plaintiff's interest in expressing his First Amendment speech outweigh the defendant's interest in restricting the same."
Plowman argued that Cross would win if the case was brought to trial, and ordered the school to reinstate him...
Also, what religion is he a part of?— Ellie 🏳️⚧️ ☭ (@Neonecrosis2) June 8, 2021
"...Byron "Tanner" Cross said it's against his religion to call children by pronouns not associated with their biological sex"
Of all the religious texts I've ever read, that hasn't been in any of them that I recall, just more bigotry... https://t.co/TRO1Tv3ZS0
As per Daily Mail, Cross commented on the ruling, stating: "We're so happy. There were lots of tears, lots of hugs - we're just happy we were reinstated and I look forward to going back to serving Leesburg Elementary."
Cross justified his decision to misgender the child by citing his religious beliefs.
Cross stated: "I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria.
Loudoun County School Board just put a school teacher on administrative leave for stating he would not teach LGBTQ because it violates his Christian principles. pic.twitter.com/QCwzIYdNNw— Michael S. Miller (@imichaelsmiller) May 27, 2021
"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."
Following the meeting, Principal Shawn Lacey confirmed Cross had been placed on leave with pay until December 31, writing...
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.— Alliance Defending Freedom (@AllianceDefends) June 8, 2021
A massive victory for freedom of speech.
"I'm contacting you to let you know that one of our physical education teachers, Tanner Cross, is on leave beginning this morning. In his absence, his duties will be covered by substitute staff already working in our building."