Loudoun Teacher Placed On Leave after Criticizing Proposed Transgender Policy

A physical education teacher at Leesburg Elementary School has been placed on administrative leave after telling the School Board that, based on his religious beliefs, he would not comply with draft polices concerning the rights of transgender students.

The School Board is developing policies to meet a new Virginia Department of Education mandate to protect learners of all gender identities. 

Byron “Tanner” Cross addressed the School Board during the public comment section of its May 25 meeting.

“My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who suffer gender dysphoria,” he said. He spoke about a recent “60 Minutes” segment that interviewed youths who regretted their decisions to transition.

“It is not my intent to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we all must face when ready. We condemn school policies, like 8040 [Rights of Transgender and Gender Expansive Students] and 8035 [Sexual Discrimination, Sexual Assault], because [they] would damage children and defile the holy image of God,” Cross said. “I love all 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 is against my religion, it’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it is sinning against our God.”

Two days later, Cross was placed on administrative leave by interim Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Talen Development Lucia Villa Sebastian, pending an “investigations of allegations that you engaged in conduct that has had a disruptive impact on the operations of Leesburg Elementary School.”

The Christian nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom has threatened legal action unless Cross is reinstated.

“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,” stated Tyson Langhofer, director of the ADF Center for Academic Freedom. “This isn’t just about a pronoun; this is about endorsing an ideology. 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.”

7 thoughts on “Loudoun Teacher Placed On Leave after Criticizing Proposed Transgender Policy

  • 2021-05-30 at 7:10 am
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    Wow, way to go Loudoun County School Board (golf clap). What an extraordinary act of courage. I cannot think of a finer example of being equitable or inclusive. Firing someone for having a different opinion. No one should be surprised by this as this team of cowards has hidden behind COVID in an attempt to show no one has a problem with CRT. Why else would the board insist on still having no benches or no one else inside the board room when people are speaking? People need to sign up for the recall effort via fightforschools.com.

  • 2021-05-30 at 10:50 am
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    Why is it fine for LCPS to discriminate against people for Biblical beliefs but. Condemn those who discriminated against them? Stop forcing believers to adopt liberal unGodly agendas . This WOKE cancel culture has got to stop! Mr Conner should be immediately returned to work! Great job for standing up for the TRUTH!

  • 2021-05-30 at 7:14 pm
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    I am guessing that Vegas odds has Mr Cross winning this one BIG TIME.

    Instead of the School Board punishing biblical beliefs, why have they not punished the party that pushed porn into our school system and made it REQUIRED READING?

    All nine of the school board members are cowards and should be fired or resign immediately. This is disgraceful behavior.

  • 2021-05-31 at 1:45 pm
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    It’s almost as if the ignorant tyrants running the school board are unware of recent decisions in similar first amendment cases.

    Sign the petition to recall school board members, demand the resignation of county board members and commonwealth attorney who participated in this tyranny resign for role in all this. We have rights and these tyrants do not have the authority to use the power of their offices to ruin our lives.

    “A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of a professor who was punished by his university for refusing to call a transgender student by the student’s female pronouns. Nicholas Meriwether, a philosophy teacher at Shawnee State University in Ohio, sued the school after officials prepared a written warning against him and threatened suspension without pay or termination if he refused to use female pronouns upon the student’s request.”

  • 2021-05-31 at 2:38 pm
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    Please advise if there is a legal fund for Mr Cross (one that is donor-restricted).

  • 2021-06-01 at 10:43 am
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    It’s not about winning or losing a court case (they WILL lose), it is about intimidating the rest of the LCPS employees to sit down, shut up, and do what they are told to do.

    Sign the recall petition!!!

  • 2021-06-01 at 4:26 pm
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    Children’s neurons are not developed until their early 20s. This makes them susceptible and vulnerable to suggestions. This is why God gave them parents. And this is why statutory rape was enacted because an adult can sway their thinking and so can their peers. Parents need to behave responsible for what their child/ren are being exposed too. Parents your voices need to be heard. Teachers are one of the most educated professions in this country. Most of our educators have more education than politicians, leaders and parents!!! His voice needs to be heard by the community. His education is from an accredited college/colleges. His experience and expertise is with the pediatric population. He knows Erickson, Piaget and Freud. J Hopkins did research and this should be validated by the public schools systems. Mr. Cross’s input should be welcomed. His valor should be commended not banned and punished. Like the Covenant boy who was ripped apart and threatened because he was pro life, he was targeted. His school ended up being shut down because of his pro life activities. They called him a racist but this was unfounded. Don’t put ideas into a young child’s mind. If his parents send him to school as a boy, he is a boy. If his parents send her to school as a girl, she is a girl. Don’t remove their genders. The school appears to be over stepping their boundaries. Parents, you are the tax payers. You pay their salaries. Tell them to keep politics and their propaganda out of your child/ren class rooms.

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