A Virginia gym teacher was placed on leave after telling the school board that he will not acknowledge that a “biological boy can be a girl and vice versa.”
Leesburg Elementary school teacher Byron Tanner Cross expressed his opposition to gender policies during a Loudoun County school board meeting on Tuesday and was placed on leave right after he spoke out.
RT reports: 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.
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,” Cross said.
The teacher referenced the county’s draft policy 8040 that says school staff must allow students to use “their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence.” He argued that the change would “damage children, defile the holy image of God.”
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.