Teacher who refused to call transgender student by correct pronouns is reinstated
The Christian teacher was allowed to return to school after transphobic comments
Tanner Cross, a teacher who was suspended after refusing to use a child's chosen pronouns, later attempted to sue the school district for his unfair dismissal. That same teacher has now been reinstated at the school.
Cross had the following to say at a board meeting that leads to his dismissal:
"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."
Twelfth Circuit Judge James E. Plowman has overturned this dismissal, stating that Cross should be allowed to exercise his free speech.
Fox News reports that Plowman issues a temporary injunction that will allow the PE teacher to keep his job until December 31st. At this point, the injunction will be dismissed unless further orders are given.
Plowman's primary motivations were that the school district would have likely lost if the case went to trial. They had "Adversely affected his first amendment rights" and that reinstating him was in "the public interest."
"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."
Cross is set to return to the school and with it the backing of what he has heard in court. Though everyone has a right to an opinion, Cross's directly clashes with his job as an educator. His lack of accountability will only empower him and those like him to continue spouting transphobic narratives. Where kids are concerned, this is highly problematic.
The Washington Post has published a conversation with a Transgender parent in the school district where Cross preaches, sorry correction, teaches.
Cris Candice Tuck said his kids looked up to Cross, with physical education being their main outlet of expression.
“My kids know I’m transgender, and many of our friends are transgender,” Tuck said. “They know what the effects of things like misgendering and dead-naming can be.”
“They’re really upset today,” he added. “They don’t want to be in PE on Thursday.”
'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," says Cross.