By: Konrad Holden
The Loudoun County School Board faced backlash from community members on Tuesday after putting a teacher on suspension. The teacher was banned from school grounds for refusing to follow a proposed rule requiring teachers and staff to use children’s preferred pronouns. Dozens of people showed up to make their voices heard in defiance of the school board’s actions.
Leesburg Elementary School PE Teacher Tanner Cross was suspended over his comments on a proposed school policy change. The new policy would require teachers and staff of Loudoun County Public Schools to use a transgender child’s “preferred pronouns” and preferred name.
Cross stated in a public forum that he was unwilling to follow the rule, saying, “It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God.”
A judge recently ruled that the school board’s actions were unconstitutional and required the district to immediately reinstate Mr. Cross.
On Tuesday, the school board heard from many unhappy citizens.
Fellow Teacher Jeremy Wright left a copy of the first amendment on the podium after saying, “Loudoun County parents, students, and teachers, we have been deceived. We thought we had a voice in this system.”
One parent, Rachel Pisani, said she couldn’t sit idly by while this happened: “When I saw a teacher express an opinion and be suspended for expressing his religious beliefs, I could no longer stay silent. When did it become acceptable to be tolerant only when someone expresses a view that we agree with?”
There were also supporters of the school board in attendance, including one saying that “this isn't about bathrooms or White discrimination. Hate speech is not free!”
“First and foremost, I am a Christian. What is most important? We live in truth, not lies. We look at character, not skin color. We love our Lord and we love others. Know this – We will not yield. We will not let you have our souls or the souls of our children.” - Monica Gill, Loudoun County School Teacher