Virginia Supreme Court rules suspension of teacher who rejected transgender ideology was wrongful

RICHMOND, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — An elementary school teacher who was suspended for rejecting transgender ideology was treated unfairly and should be reinstated to his position, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled Monday. 

Byron “Tanner” Cross, a physical education teacher at Leesburg Elementary School in Virginia’s Loudoun County Public School District (LCPS), was suspended for speaking out against a proposed school policy compelling the use of transgender pronouns. 

As reported by National Catholic Register (NCR), LCPS’ proposed policies would force teachers and administrators to address students “by their preferred gender pronouns, rather than the pronouns corresponding with their biological sex.” 

“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,” Cross said during a May school board meeting.  

“It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God.” 

Cross explained that while he shared the board’s concern for students who struggle with gender dysphoria, he strongly disagreed with the policies and methods prescribed by the LCPS.  

“I am speaking out of love for those who suffer with gender dysphoria,” he said. “I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences.”  

Two days after he made the comments, the LCPS board sent Cross a letter saying he was being placed on administrative leave “pending an investigation of allegation that [he] engaged in conduct that had a disruptive impact on the operations of Leesburg Elementary School.” 

On Monday, Virginia’s Supreme Court ruled that the board should not have suspended Cross, affirming a lower court’s finding that “vindictive” school officials had failed to show the teacher had caused a disruption, a determination that led the court to order Cross’ immediate reinstatement.