A Virginia Circuit Court Judge has reversed the firing of a Loudoun County School District teacher who was sanctioned by the district after slamming gender politics at a school board meeting.
Judge James Plowman from Virginia’s 20th Judicial Circuit, issued a temporary injunction against the Loudoun County School Board Tuesday requiring it to reinstate teacher Byron Tanner Cross back to his station at Leesburg Elementary School through the end of December.
Criss angered the school board last month when he told them during an open meeting that he opposed the efforts to force left-wing transgenderism on school kids.
Grade school gym teacher Tanner Cross recently spoke to the Loudoun County School Board in Virginia and told the board members that he would not lie about gender to his students.
“It’s not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face,” 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. It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God,” he added.
Cross also slammed the school’s personal pronouns policy.
The school board claimed that a few parents sent them letters saying they didn’t want their kids exposed to Mr. Cross, so they tried to get rid of him. But the judge noted that the school was not in the right to suspend him.
Judge Plowman said it was clear Cross was speaking “as a citizen” outside his school position, off-hours, at the invitation of the school board, which asked for public comment on the proposed policies even while claiming they were required by state law.
His subject “can only be described as a ‘matter of public concern,'” including because they referenced the very laws and policies the school board said it must follow, the order said. Plowman rejected the district’s claim that the religious basis for Cross’s comments made them an unprotected “private dispute.”Advertisement - story continues below
The district didn’t provide evidence for many of its claims about the alleged disruption caused by Cross’s comments, the judge said. He noted that four of the five family emails to the district were sent “well after” Cross’s scheduled morning duty, suggesting “no actual disruption” when Cross was reassigned to other duties.
In an elementary school of several hundred students, “the Court views the magnitude of parental complaints to be de minimis” and could not be cited to justify the district’s actions.
The judge also said that the district’s actions “adversely affected Cross’s constitutionally protected speech.” He added that that the school’s actions were “unnecessary and vindictive.”
“Affirming the unconstitutional action” against Cross, “which has silenced others from speaking publicly” about gender identity issues, “serves the public interest,” the judge’s order said. “Governmental bodies being held in check for violating a citizen’s constitutional rights, serves the public interest.”
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