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VA Teacher Who Battled School Board Over Transgender Policy Tells CBN News: 'I Learned to Trust God More'

11-23-2021
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Image source: CBN News
Image source: CBN News

Tanner Cross is speaking out after the school board of the Loudoun County Public Schools agreed to reinstate him.

During an interview with CBN News, Cross explained this is a major triumph for educators and people of faith. 

"It's a huge victory for me because Loudoun County Public Schools could no longer punish me for my speech I made back in May," he said. "That should tell teachers if you want to go advocate for your students at a school board meeting and you think harmful ideologies are coming through your school board or maybe being implemented in your lessons, go voice your opinion. Use your freedom of speech, freedom of religion."

Cross, who teaches physical education at Leesburg Elementary, sued the Loudoun school board over its new policy that includes requiring staff to call transgender students by their preferred pronouns.

He was quickly suspended last spring after publicly telling the board he would not comply with the policy.

Cross insists the rules go against his Christian faith and his First Amendment rights.

School officials argue Policy 8040 was introduced to create more equity for transgender students. 

As CBN News reported, as part of the settlement reached last week, Tanner will keep his job, have the suspension removed from his record, and receive $20,000 from the county to help pay his legal fees.

Tyson Langhofer, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents Tanner in the case, said they are pleased with the outcome.

"I think what this case shows is that the Constitution does not have some carve out for certain ideologies or some carve out for certain viewpoints that people don't like. This covers everything," said Langhofer.

But the court battle isn't over.

ADF, along with Cross and two other Loudoun County teachers, are continuing with their lawsuit over the transgender policy which allows transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.

Meanwhile, Cross says the ordeal has brought him closer to God.

"I learned to trust God more, so my faith grew," the teacher shared. "It's growing more as we go. He's granted us victories because of our obedience to Him."

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