Court Orders Loudoun County School Board To Reinstate Teacher Who Spoke Out Against ‘Pronouns Policy’
The Loudoun County School Board in Virginia has been ordered by the Twentieth Judicial Circuit to immediately reinstate a gym educator who was put on leave after speaking out against transgender policies at a school board meeting last month.
On Tuesday, a judge granted a temporary injunction, ordering the board to immediately reinstate gym educator Bryon “Tanner” Cross, who was suspended after disagreeing to a proposed policy that requires instructors to comply with children’s claims that they are members of the opposite sex.
“I love all my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences,” Cross said, in part, at a Loudoun school board meeting on May.
Last week Cross filed a complaint against the district for putting him on administrative leave. The Alliance Defending Freedom is the legal firm representing Cross.
Alliance Defending Freedom announced to Twitter, “BREAKING: Tanner Cross, a Virginia elementary school teacher and ADF client who was suspended for raising concerns to the board about a proposed gender policy, has won a temporary injunction and the judge has ordered his reinstatement. A massive victory for freedom of speech.”
BREAKING: Tanner Cross, a Virginia elementary school teacher and ADF client who was suspended for raising concerns to the board about a proposed gender policy, has won a temporary injunction and the judge has ordered his reinstatement.
A massive victory for freedom of speech.
— Alliance Defending Freedom (@AllianceDefends) June 8, 2021
According to Judge James Plowman’s court’s decision, the Plaintiff (Cross) “contends that his suspension was an act of retaliation following his exercise of his rights to free speech in that, 1) his speech was constitutionally protected, 2) the Defendants’ retaliatory action adversely affected the Plaintiff’s constitutionally protected speech, and 3) there was a casual relationship between the speech and the action.”
Judge Plowman also wrote:
“Whether the Plaintiff’s speech at the School Board meeting was protected is determined by applying the standards set forth in Pickering v Board of Education — more specifically, was Plaintiff speaking as a citizen on a matter of public concern and do Plaintiff’s interests in speaking outweigh Defendants’ in restricting the Plaintiff.”
“Here, it is clear the Plaintiff was speaking as a citizen, not in his official capacity. His speech was not conducted at his usual place of employment, occurred during non-working hours and at a forum where public comment was invited. Plaintiff had to abide by the same process to speak as any other citizen. Although this was not formally conceded by the Defendants’, analysis of this was not argued.”
“It is further apparent that the subject matter upon which the Plaintiff spoke was one that can only be described as a “matter of public concern.” The enactment of a school policy as it relates to transgender issues, as well as the expected conduct of staff and students within the public school system, falls squarely within this scope. Additionally, Defendants referenced related school policies on this same subject matter as well as Virginia statutes and Federal law. Laws and policies enacted by elected legislators, by their very nature, invite political discourse. They are on their face, matters of public, political and societal interest.”
“The Court finds that the Plaintiff’s speech and religious content are central to the determination made by the Defendants to suspend Plaintiff’s employment,” the judge continued.
“The Court further finds that the weight of the evidence and the totality of the circumstances, clearly show that the four prongs for issuance of temporary injunction have been satisfied,” the judge concluded.
The Loudoun County Public Schools are currently involved in a debate over critical race theory, according to Fox News.
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