Thomas Gallatin / June 10, 2021

Teacher Bucks ‘Transgender’ Mafia, Judge Backs Him

A Virginia gym teacher will be back on the job while his lawsuit against the county goes forward.

District Judge James Plowman ordered the Loudoun County, Virginia, school board to reinstate Leesburg Elementary School gym teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross. He’s the Christian who was suspended last week following his public criticism of and refusal to comply with the district’s “transgender” policy. In his decision Plowman wrote, “The public’s knowledge that [Cross’s] speech was permissible, is encouraged, and is free from governmental oppression serves the public interest. Governmental bodies being held in check for violating a citizen’s constitutional rights serves the public interest.”

Plowman’s ruling does not end the lawsuit Cross filed against Loudoun County Public Schools. As his Alliance Defending Freedom lawyers noted, “Nobody should be punished for expressing concern about a proposed government policy, especially when the government invites comment on that policy. For that reason, we are pleased at the court’s decision to halt Loudoun County Public School’s retaliation against Tanner Cross while his lawsuit continues.”

While the Loudoun County school board uses language such as “inclusion,” “diversity,” and “equity” when describing the type of school environment it is seeking to foster, its actions against Cross belie such commitments. Even more hypocritical is the fact that the open forum in which Cross made his comments was at the invitation of the school board to hear from the community.

Tolerance is a two way street, despite leftists upending the definitions of their favorite “woke” terms of “inclusion,” “diversity,” and “equity.” By excluding — and punishing — viewpoints and opinions that don’t comport with their own ideology while demanding that adherence is the only legitimate response, they betray the fact that they are in reality opposed to the very ideals they claim so loudly to value. How is it inclusive to be exclusive? How is it a celebration of diversity when conservative individuals who don’t hold the same “progressive” leftist values or political opinions are rejected and smeared as “racists” and “bigots”? And where is the equity in silencing their concerns or fears?

Thankfully, Cross is not alone in this fight against the Loudoun County school board’s leftist intolerance. Last Friday, a crowd gathered to protest the board’s decision to suspend him, and this week a number of concerned parents gave the board an earful regarding what they see as unconstitutional overreach. On a related note, a group of five families is suing the district over its racist and discriminatory curriculum ostensibly designed to address “systemic racism.”

Sometimes, the only way to win is to fight back.


Update 6/15: Unfortunately, the school district is fighting back, filing an appeal of the judge’s order. Cross’s battle is not over.

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