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Teacher Put On Leave For Refusing To Use Transgender Pronouns Has Been Reinstated

by : Julia Banim on : 09 Jun 2021 15:36
Teacher Put On Leave For Refusing To Use Transgender Pronouns Has Been ReinstatedLorenzoHall/Twitter/The Blue Oak Project/YouTube

A teacher from Loudoun County, Virginia, who was put on leave after refusing to use transgender pronouns has now been reinstated.

Byron ‘Tanner’ Cross, who teaches gym at Leesburg Elementary School, told the county’s school board that he couldn’t use preferred gender pronouns for transgender pupils as this went against his religious beliefs.

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Speaking at a meeting on Thursday, May 27, Cross stated, ‘I’m a teacher, but I serve God first,’ adding: ‘I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion.’

You can find out more in the following news clip:

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Cross proceeded to state that referring to transgender children by their preferred pronouns was ‘abuse to a child and it’s sinning against our God.’

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These comments were in direct contradiction to Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) draft policy 8040, 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.’

A separate proposed LCPS policy, 8350, states LCPS staff members ‘shall allow gender-expansive and transgender students to participate in such activities in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity.’

Following these remarks, Cross was placed on paid administrative leave, WTOP reports, with Loudoun County Public Schools spokesperson Wayde B. Byard stating:

Mr. Cross is on paid administrative leave. Because of state and federal law regarding personnel files, this is the only comment that I can make at this time.

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However, Cross has now been reinstated at Leesburg Elementary School, Fox News reports.

Twelfth Circuit Judge James E. Plowman has reportedly overturned the decision made by the school, ruling that Cross should be allowed the right to free speech:

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.

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Judge Plowman argued Cross would most probably win on these grounds should the case ever be brought before a court, ordering that Cross be reinstated with a temporary injunction, which will allow him to keep his position until December 31.

Featured Image Credit: LorenzoHall/Twitter/The Blue Oak Project/YouTube.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Pronouns, Teacher, transgender, Virginia

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WTOP and 2 others