Virginia’s Loudoun County school district is the subject of controversy again; this time for allegedly suspending a teacher who went viral for his comments on transgender ideology. The controversy followed the enforcement of a new policy mandating staff to use the preferred pronouns of “gender-expansive or transgender students.”
Leesburg Elementary reprimanded physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross for his remarks at a recent school board meeting.
“I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria,” Cross told the board. “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.”
Cross was expressing his opposition to the school district’s policy called “Rights of Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students,” which requires staff to “allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s educational record.”
The policy adds: “School staff shall, at the request of a student or parent/legal guardian, when using a name or pronoun to address the student, use the name and pronoun that correspond to their gender identity. The use of gender-neutral pronouns are appropriate. Inadvertent slips in the use of names or pronouns may occur; however, staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy.”
During the board meeting, Cross referenced a recent “60 Minutes” episode about gender dysphoria.
“’60 Minutes’ this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned but they felt led astray because of lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies… They are now detransitioning,” he said.
“It’s not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies [that] would damage children, defile the holy image of God.
“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.”
On Thursday, the school’s principal, Shawn Lacey, sent an email to parents announcing Cross’ suspension.
“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,” read the email, obtained by Fox News through the school district’s group called Parents Against Critical Theory. The email continued to state that “no further information” can be provided as the issue “involves personnel matter.”
The school district’s board said it was its decision to suspend the teacher. But, like the principal, it refused to provide more details on why Cross was placed on leave.
Cross’ wife Angela, posted on Facebook that his husband was indeed placed on leave for speaking out.
“As Americans, we believe that every American has the right to their beliefs, but NO AMERICAN HAS THE RIGHT TO IMPOSE THEIR BELIEFS ON OTHERS,” Angela Cross wrote in a now-protected post. “We spoke out first and foremost to protect the children and also to defend the first amendment rights of teachers and staff.”
In recent months, the Loudoun County school district has been the subject of controversies. It issued a warning about the use of Dr. Seuss books, attempted to quell teachers’ and parents’ criticism of its anti-racism syllabus, and more.