A Virginia school board put a teacher on leave after he cited science and Christianity when opposing a draft policy that requires teachers to agree with childrens’ claim that they are members of the opposite sex.
“I love all my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences,” gym teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross told the Loudoun school board on May 27.
Two days later, school officials told the teacher he was suspended amid an investigation.
On May 31, Glenn Youngkin, the 2o21 GOP candidate for governor, called on the school board to reinstate Tanner Cross:
As governor, I will stand for excellence in education. We will not teach critical race theory and I will stand up for teachers and parents against these kinds of canceled culture initiatives, and, by the way, who’s standing up for Tanner Cross?
Well, I’ll tell you as governor, I’ll have his back, I’ll stand up for the teachers, I’ll stand up for the parents. And I actually call on that school board right now in Loudoun County to reinstate Tanner Cross fully because they have absolutely ignored his constitutional rights and, oh by the way, his best interest is the children right now.
In his brief testimony on May 25, Cross cited a May 23 60 Minutes episode, which included testimony by teenage girls and boys who walked away from their transgender claims, sometimes after irreversible genital surgery. The transcript describes one boy who had his testicles removed:
Garrett: I didn’t get enough pushback on transitioning. I went for two appointments, and after the second one, I had, like, my letter to go get on cross-sex hormones.
[Voiceover] Garrett, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, went from taking hormones to getting his testicles removed, he says, in just three months, whereas the current guidelines call for continuous use for a year. He later got a breast augmentation. But, instead of feeling more himself, he says he felt worse.
Lesley Stahl: So more depressed after you transitioned than before?
Garrett: I had never really been suicidal before until I had my breast augmentation. And about a week afterwards, I wanted to, like, actually kill myself. Like, I had a plan and I was gonna do it, but I just kept thinking about, like, my family to stop myself. It kind of felt like how am I ever going to feel normal again, like other guys now?
Cross told the school board:
My name is Tanner Cross, and I’m speaking out of love from those who suffer with gender dysphoria.
60 Minutes this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned, but they felt led astray because of lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies in just three months. They are now detransitioning [from transgenderism].
It is not my intention to hurt anyone. But there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies like 8o40 [“Rights of Transgender and Gender Expansive Students“] and 8035 because it will damage children [and] defile the holy image of God,
I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. 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 is lying to a child. It’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God.
The draft school policy says that school officials should allow children to adopt an opposite-sex identity in school, even without the approval of their parents:
[Loudoun County Public Schools] staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record. School staff shall, at the request of a student or parent/legal guardian, when using a name or pronoun to address the student, use the name and pronoun that correspond to their gender identity.
Medical treatments to help people — old or young — appear as members of the opposite sex create many health risks and provide few psychological benefits, according to a wide range of studies.
Also, surveys show that people trying to live as members of the opposite sex face near-universal romantic rejection.
Two days after his statement to the board, Cross was put on administrative leave by the school district while officials conduct “investigations of allegations that you engaged in conduct that has had a disruptive impact on the operations of Leesburg Elementary School.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom law firm is threatening legal action if Cross is not reinstated.
“This isn’t just about a pronoun; this is about endorsing an ideology,” said the ADF statement:
Public schools have no business compelling teachers to express ideological beliefs that they don’t hold, but it’s beyond the pale to suspend someone simply for respectfully providing their opinion at a public meeting, which is what such meetings are designed for … The school favors certain beliefs, and it wants to force Tanner to cry uncle and endorse them as well. That’s neither legal nor constitutional, and neither was the school’s move to place Tanner on leave.