Virginia School Agrees Not to Punish Teacher for Refusing to Use Transgender Pronouns

Virginia School Agrees Not to Punish Teacher for Refusing to Use Transgender Pronouns Virginia School Agrees Not to Punish Teacher for Refusing to Use Transgender Pronouns

By Brian Freeman | Tuesday, 16 November 2021 10:04 AM

Virginia's Loudoun County school board has agreed to a settlement with physical education teacher Tanner Cross, who was suspended from his job for defying the district’s policy by refusing to refer to transgender students by their preferred pronouns, the Daily Caller has reported.

Cross had filed a lawsuit that alleged the school board retaliated against him when it suspended him after he expressed his opinion on the district’s transgender policy, which requires teachers to call students by their "chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence" and permits transgender students to participate in sports and use bathrooms that correspond to their chosen gender identity.

In June, the Loudoun County Circuit Court ruled that the school had to reinstate Cross. The school appealed the decision, but in August the Virginia Supreme Court backed the lower court’s ruling.

The settlement made his reinstatement permanent, and the school agreed to remove any reference of suspension from his personnel file and pay $20,000 toward his legal fees, the Daily Caller reported.

Cross had publicly said at a school meeting in May that he would not abide by the school’s transgender policy, according to the New York Post.

Cross explained at the time that "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."

Reacting to the settlement, Tyson Langhofer, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, the law firm representing Cross, issued a statement that said, "Teachers shouldn’t be forced to promote ideologies that are harmful to their students and that they believe are false, and they certainly shouldn’t be silenced from commenting at public meetings."