A step in the wrong direction after a teacher refuses to call a trans student by their preferred pronouns.
Byron ‘Tanner’ Cross, a gym teacher at Leesburg Elementary School in Loudoun County, Virginia, has been suspended following an incident where he deliberately misgendered a trans student.
Mr. Cross stated that his religious beliefs inhibit him from recognizing the trans student’s favored pronouns.
On May 25th, Mr. Byron faced the school board where he outlined his reasons for refusing to recognize the student’s gender.
“I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria.
“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.”
Fox News said that as a result of Mr. Byron’s behavior, which flies directly in the face of Loudoun County school district policy, Principal Shawn Lacey had no choice but to place him on administrative leave.
He said: “I’m contacting you to let you know that one of our physical education teachers, Tanner Cross, is on leave beginning this morning. In his absence, his duties will be covered by substitute staff already working in our building.
“Because this involves a personnel matter, I can offer no further information.”
The school made the correct decision, right?
Well not everyone thinks so.
A nonprofit legal organization called the Alliance Defending Freedom wrote a letter to the Loudoun County school district in dismay at their decision,
The group’s Senior Counsel, Tyson Langhofer, said: “Public schools have no business compelling teachers to express ideological beliefs that they don’t hold.
“This isn’t just about a pronoun; LCPS wants to compel teachers to endorse and advance an ideology. LCPS favors certain beliefs, and it wants to force Tanner to cry uncle and endorse them as well.
“It’s neither legal nor constitutional, and neither was the school’s move to place Tanner on leave.”
On Twitter, some refuted Mr. Langhofer’s claims.
One said: “If a teacher cannot embrace kids differences then they do not deserve to educate other people’s children, especially if it has to do with their religion, which should be checked at the door the second you walk into a school.”
Another said: “There is a difference between free speech and discrimination.”
But others backed him up.
One person said: “Stay on their backs!! LCPS will push their ideology if there is no resistance.”
Did the school board make the right or wrong decision?
Image Via Alamy