During a speech at a Loudoun County school board meeting on Tuesday, physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross expressed his opposition to the school’s policies regarding gender.
“My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria,” said Cross to the board.
“’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… They are now detransitioning,” continued Cross. “”It’s not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies [that] would damage children, defile the holy image of God.”
“I love all of my students but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences,” continued Cross. “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.”
Cross was opposed to the school’s policy 8040, which required staff of the district to use students’ preferred pronouns.
“LCPS staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record,” says the policy.
“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,” continued the policy. “The use of gender-neutral pronouns are appropriate. 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.”
Another policy, 8350, says that staff “shall allow gender-expansive and transgender students to participate in such activities in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity.”
In an email obtained by Fox News, the principal of Leesburg Elementary, Shawn Lacey, told recipients that Cross was placed on leave.
“I’m contacting you to let you know that one of our physical education teachers, Tanner Cross, is on leave beginning this morning,” said Lacey. “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,” continued Lacey. “Because this involves a personnel matter, I can offer no further information.” The exact reason Cross was placed on leave was not known.
“The contents of personnel files are confidential under state and federal law,” said, Wayde Byard, a spokesperson for Loudoun County Public Schools. “I cannot comment other to say that Mr. Cross is on administrative leave with pay.”
Byard confirmed that the principal did send the email, but that “the decision to place an employee on leave is not the principal’s.”