The legal fight over a Virginia school district’s suspension of a teacher who refused to address students by their preferred pronouns and names may be headed to the state Supreme Court.
Last month, a circuit court judge ruled that Tanner Cross must be allowed to return to his job at Loudon County Public Schools.
Cross, a physical education teacher at Leesburg Elementary School, was placed on administrative leave after saying at a school board meeting that it was against his religion to address a student by a gender not assigned to them at birth.
The district appealed that decision saying Cross “demonstrated his unwillingness to comply with existing and proposed policies.” It also said the school system had experienced “significant disruption” since Cross’ comments, and five parents have contacted the principal requesting their children have no interaction with Cross.
Cross made the comments at a board meeting May 25 in response to the district’s “Rights of Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students.” The state is requiring all school systems to update their policies on transgender students,part of which includes a requirement that students be allowed to use their preferred pronouns and name.
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