"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."
An elementary school gym teacher in Virginia, US has been placed on leave right after he spoke out against the county school board policy proposal that says teachers must allow students to use gender pronouns of their choice.
Leesburg Elementary School physical education teacher Byron ‘Tanner’ Cross has been placed on leave, Loudoun County Public Schools confirmed to Fox News.
Spokesperson Wayde Byard did not go into the details about the decision regarding Cross, but said that it was “not the principal’s,” and clarified that the teacher had been placed on administrative leave with pay.
The clip of Cross blasting the county’s gender policy during a school board meeting on Tuesday was earlier shared on social media.
“I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them, regardless of the consequences,” he said.
Loudoun County School Board just put a school teacher on administrative leave for stating he would not teach LGBTQ because it violates his Christian principles. pic.twitter.com/QCwzIYdNNw
— Michael S. Miller (@imichaelsmiller) May 27, 2021
Cross told journalist Vince Coglianese on his podcast, The Vince Coglianese Show, that the decision to place him on leave came not from the principal but from Loudon County Public Schools.
“I was told that I was disruptive,” the teacher said, describing his visit to the human resources (HR) department.
“HR said, ‘We want to resolve this as quick as possible,’ but that is not my feeling at all,” he said.
Cross added that, during a meeting with HR, he was shown a letter accusing him of having “engaged in conduct that has had a disruptive impact on the operations of Leesburg Elementary School.”
“I wrote to the school board multiple times, [pleading] with them just to sit down and have a conversation… and I never heard anything back from them,” the teacher said.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group, demanded the school board reinstate Cross and “refrain from any future retaliation against protected speech.” It added that the teacher would be “forced to pursue other legal options to safeguard his rights,” if the board did not back down.
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