Virginia elementary school PE teacher is put on leave after telling school board he’ll refuse to affirm transgender kids because it’s against his religion as a Christian
- Byron Tanner Cross gave a speech at a Loudoun County school board meeting on Tuesday
- He was contesting two policies the school board has adopted
- The first forces staff to respect transgender kids by the pronouns they identify with
- The other allows trans kids to participate in sports in the gender group they identify with, regardless of what gender they were born
- Cross said that both of the policies would harm the children and that they go against his religion as a Christian
- He didn’t say why – but said they amounted to ‘child abuse’ and said he ‘loved all of his students’
- Some called it ‘shameful’ and said he was exercising his first amendment rights
- The school hasn’t indicated how long he’ll be on leave, or if he’s receiving pay
A Virginia elementary school teacher has been put on leave after telling the schoolboard he wouldn’t affirm trans kids because it goes against his religion as a Christian.
Byron Tanner Cross gave a speech at the Loudoun County school board meeting on Tuesday.
He was arguing two policies that the public school board have put in place; one which forces teachers to use the pronouns a transgender child identified with, and one which allows transgender kids to take part in sports in the group of the gender they identify with.
Cross said that the policies ‘defile the holy image of God’ and constitute child abuse.
‘My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria.
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Byron Tanner Cross gave a speech at the Loudoun County school board meeting on Tuesday
’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… They are now de-transitioning.
‘It’s not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready.
‘We condemn school policies [that] would damage children, 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’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God,’ he said.
Shortly after the meeting, Shawn Lacey, principal of Leesburg Elementary, sent an email to parents saying Cross had been put on leave.
It’s unclear how long the leave will last.
‘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,’ he said.
The school principal sent out this email this week
The local reaction to the school’s decision has been mixed.
Loudon County, which is home to around 400,000 people, has become a microcosm of the issues that are currently dividing America – critical race theory, transgender rights, gay rights and free speech.
Parents there have been up in arms recently about recent school board decisions to promote diversity and, in the parents’ view, dampen free speech and do-away with tradition.
They say that anytime they speak out about anything, the school board tries to ‘cancel’ them.
Many parents are praising Tanner as a hero and say he was exercising his first amendment rights.
Others who have seen the video online say he is transphobic, harmful to kids and shouldn’t be allowed to teach.
Tanner’s wife has since taken to Facebook to thank people for their support. She said he was sorry he didn’t get to say goodbye to his students.
Ian Prior, spokesman for Unsilenced Majority, an organization set up to reverse cancel culture and defend free speech, told DailyMail.com on Friday: ‘It is shameful what Loudoun County Public Schools did to this teacher for expressing his beliefs to the school board.
‘He was exercising his First Amendment rights of free speech and to petition the government and this action against him is a clear message from Loudoun County Public Schools that it does not welcome different viewpoints and is not inclusive for those that exercise their constitutional rights.’