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02nd Jun 2021

Teacher placed on leave over student’s pronouns sues school administrators

Kieran Galpin

The teacher stated he would “never affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa”

When one thinks of the most liberal places globally, Virginia is certainly not the first place that jumps to mind. Though the battle for equal rights continues worldwide, even ‘developed’ countries are disappointing when it comes to acceptance and tolerance.

Byron ‘Tanner’ Cross, a physical education teacher at Leesburg Elementary school, had been placed on paid leave following his refusal to use a transgender child’s chosen name and pronouns. He was also banned from the school ground, school events, and board meetings. But, following his initial dismissal, Cross has now decided to sue the school district on the grounds they are imposing on his free speech.

During a meeting in May, Cross stated he would “never affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa.” Cross was speaking against a proposed policy that would require all staff to refer to children by their chosen pronouns and names, therefore making the environment more inclusive of individual experience.

Two days later, on May 27th, Cross was issued with a letter detailing his paid leave. Though Cross could have used his time away to reflect on his actions and perhaps crack open a book, he chose to sue the school.

The 25-page lawsuit, which seems a little excessive to explain why you are intolerant, details Tanner’s worldview and attitudes towards the situation. The suit was filed by the Alliance defending Freedom, who happen to be representing a similar case in West Point.

The lawsuit also states how his faith “commands him to tell the truth and not tell lies.”

“There are certain truths we must face when ready,” Tanner Cross states in his monologue. Though Cross is following his own truth, he fails to recognise the scientific and factual evidence supporting transgender people.

For anyone wondering why the LGBTQ+ community celebrates for an entire month, this is but one example.