A Christian physical education teacher has been placed on administrative leave after declaring in a speech that he would not “lie” to his students and “defile” God by affirming that “a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa,” Fox News reported.
What are the details?
The teacher, Byron “Tanner” Cross, made the defiant declaration at a Loudoun County school board meeting on Tuesday, according to the nonprofit group, Parents Against Critical Race Theory.
During the speech, Cross voiced his opposition to new transgender-affirming policies pushed by the school district that require all staff use a student’s preferred gender pronouns and permitted transgender students to participate in activities consistent with their gender identity, rather than their biological sex.
“My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria,” Cross said at the opening of his speech.
“’60 Minutes’ this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned, but they felt led astray because of lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies in just three months. They are now de-transitioning,” he continued.
“It’s not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies like 8040 and  because it will damage children [and] defile the holy image of God,” Cross added.
“I love all of my students but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. 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,” he explained. “It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God.”
In an email reportedly obtained by PACT and shown to Fox News, Leesburg Elementary Principal Shawn Lacey informed parents that Cross had been placed on administrative leave.
“I’m contacting you to let you know that one of our physical education teachers, Tanner Cross, is on leave beginning this morning,” Lacey said in the email. “In his absence, his duties will be covered by substitute staff already working in our building. I wanted you to know this because it may affect your student’s school routine. Because this involves a personnel matter, I can offer no further information.”
Loudoun County Public Schools confirmed to Fox News that Lacey sent the email regarding Cross, but noted that noted that “the decision to place an employee on leave is not the principal’s.”
The spokesperson went on to say, “The contents of personnel files are confidential under state and federal law. I cannot comment other to say that Mr. Cross is on administrative leave with pay.”
According to LCPS documents, policy 8040 specifies that, “School staff shall, at the request of a student or parent/legal guardian, when using a name or pronoun to address the student, use the name and pronoun that correspond to their gender identity. The use of gender-neutral pronouns are appropriate.”
It adds: “Inadvertent slips in the use of names or pronouns may occur; however, staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy.”
Policy 8350 states: “LCPS staff shall allow gender-expansive and transgender students to 37 participate in such activities in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity.”