Trial scheduled for suspended gym teacher after refusing to change students' biological gender pronouns

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A trial has been scheduled in connection to a lawsuit filed by a Loudoun County, Virginia, physical education teacher who was suspended after saying he would not address transgender students by their preferred pronouns, using their biological pronouns instead.

Byron "Tanner" Cross, a physical education instructor at Leesburg Elementary School, will appear in court in September, according to his legal representation. Cross filed the lawsuit in June, alleging the school district's suspension violated his constitutional rights of freedom of speech and free exercise of religion.

"We’re scheduled to go to trial Sept. 7 and 8 on the ultimate determination whether the school violated Tanner’s constitutional rights by suspending him,” said attorney Tyson Langhofer on Tuesday during a CPAC Now broadcast.

A judge issued a temporary injunction on June 8 that allowed Cross to be reinstated at the school. The district appealed the decision on June 11 and requested the Virginia Supreme Court to review the matter.

LOUDOUN COUNTY TO APPEAL REINSTATEMENT OF TEACHER WHO REFUSED TO CHANGE STUDENTS' BIOLOGICAL GENDER PRONOUNS

The case in the trial court will move forward while the district's appeal is pending, Langhofer said.

Cross's trial will challenge the school's ability to remove him from his post over comments he made at a May 25 public meeting, in which he said he would "not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa," citing his religious faith.

"Public schools have no right to suspend someone simply for respectfully providing their opinion at a public meeting," Langhofer said June 30 after filing a response to the appeal.

The school system said in a statement on June 11 it "respects the rights of public-school employees to free speech and free exercise of religion" but noted, "Those rights do not outweigh the rights of students to be educated in a supportive and nurturing environment."

The civil trial will be held at Loudoun County Circuit Court.

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The Washington Examiner contacted attorneys for Cross and LCPS but did not immediately receive a response.

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Tags: News, Virginia, Education, Transgender Issues, First Amendment

Original Author: Kaelan Deese

Original Location: Trial scheduled for suspended gym teacher after refusing to change students' biological gender pronouns

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