A Virginia teacher must be reinstated from leave after telling the school board he wouldn’t address transgender students by their pronouns, a judge ruled.
The court granted Tanner Cross’ request for a temporary injunction, saying the school district must allow him to return to his position and stop banning him from Loudoun County Public Schools property.
Judge James E. Plowman Jr. wrote that he granted the injunction because Cross’ rights to speech and religious liberty are central to the case.
Cross was suspended after voicing his objection to a proposed policy on how to address transgender students. Cross told the Loudoun County School Board he believed following the policy would be “abuse of a child” and “sinning.”
The court said Cross’ comments are considered protected speech and the district did not prove his comments caused any significant disruption to school operations.
The school district said later Tuesday that they had no comment on the ruling.
Multiple school board members received death threats, and security will be heightened at a school board meeting Tuesday night. A bomb squad conducted a sweep of the administrative building’s grounds.
Cross’ suspension and reinstatement is one of several controversies in the school district. For several months, some parents have opposed the district implementing critical race theory, an academic framework for addressing race, in the classroom. District officials defended their treatment of equity issues.
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