School board settles with teacher over transgender comments

Southeast

LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — A Virginia school board has agreed to an injunction that will prohibit it from retaliating against an elementary school teacher who was placed on administrative leave after a statement he made regarding the board’s transgender policy, a statement from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) said.

Tanner Cross was first placed on administrative leave after he reportedly said to the Loudoun County School Board, “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.”

The Virginia Supreme Court ruled in August that Cross had been wrongly suspended, affirming a lower court’s ruling from June.

ADF, a Christian nonprofit group whose attorneys have been filing on behalf of Cross, said that this settlement with the board makes these prior court rulings permanent. The board “also agreed to remove any reference to Cross’ suspension from his personnel file and to pay $20,000 toward Cross’ attorneys’ fees,” ADF said.

The lawsuit was expanded to include two other faculty members, Loudoun County High School history teacher Monica Gill and Smart’s Mill Middle School English teacher Kim Wright, in challenging the school board’s policy. This policy would allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns in school.

The portion of the lawsuit that includes Gill and Wright is still ongoing, ADF said.

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