Editor’s note: Teacher Tanner Cross was suspended from his job as a gym teacher at Leesburg Elementary School in Virginia after he spoke out against two proposed school policies related to transgender students at a Loudoun County School Board meeting. Last week, a judge ordered him reinstated and Cross spoke to The Daily Signal about his experience. Watch the video above or read the lightly edited transcript:
Bret Baier, speaking on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report”: A school district in northern Virginia is getting pushback from parents tonight over the punishment for a teacher who expressed his religious beliefs regarding transgender policies at a public school board meeting.
Tanner Cross: Me and my legal team did all this just for the fact that we want our students not harmed. We also want teachers to feel that the law is on their side and that they have the ability … to go voice their opinion at a school board meeting. And that goes for anybody, any American.
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. My name is Tanner Cross. I’m a physical education teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools. I was concerned about two proposed policies that are going to be in place here soon in the fall at Loudoun County.
One is 8040—Loudoun County Public Schools wants basically everybody to affirm students by their chosen pronoun. Although it is in violation of our faith. Policy 8350 involves where any student could change in any locker room that they wanted to. They could go into any restroom that they wanted to. Biological males could play on girls sports teams with, I think, an unfair advantage because boys have stronger, denser bones, ligaments, and tendons.
And I decided to go to school board meeting and oppose those two proposed school policies.
After I spoke at the meeting, I went and worked a full day and played T-ball and had a blast with my kids. Wednesday night I get home and I get a call from the HR department of Loudoun County Public Schools. [They] asked me to come into a meeting on Thursday morning. I went in Thursday morning at 9 a.m. They gave me a letter and in the letter it said that I was a disruption to the operations at Leesburg Elementary. They placed me on administration leave.
After Thursday, I communicated with my legal team, Alliance Defending Freedom. We really wanted to get my job back, so we wrote a letter to Loudoun County Public Schools demanding that I be reinstated. And Loudoun County Public Schools doubled down and said no. There was a hearing set up Friday and the judge looked over the review, reviewed all the facts, said that he needed the weekend to make a decision.
After the hearing the community came together—it was my church, our legal team, Loudoun County residents that just believe in the First Amendment and freedom of religion—and I believe it was a breath of fresh air for everybody. We were blessed on Monday to find out that the judge, he believed that the law was on our side and that my rights were violated. He quoted that it was vindictive what Loudoun County Public Schools did.
We were so happy that we got reinstated because I got to go back to being a PE teacher and that’s what I do best … making kids healthier, make them smile and laugh.
After The Daily Signal interviewed Cross, Loudoun County Public Schools announced it would appeal the judge’s reinstatement order.
The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.
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