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‘I’m a teacher, but I serve God first’: Virginia teacher opposing new transgender rules fights suspension

Watch the video below to see Tanner Cross give his comments during the meeting

Leesburg Elementary teacher Tanner Cross spoke during the public comment section of the May 25, 2021 Loudoun County School Board meeting.
Leesburg Elementary teacher Tanner Cross spoke during the public comment section of the May 25, 2021 Loudoun County School Board meeting.

LEESBURG, Va. – A northern Virginia gym teacher is fighting his suspension after he spoke out at a school board meeting against proposed policies to address transgender students by their preferred pronouns.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal group, wrote a letter Friday to Loudoun County Public Schools on behalf of Leesburg Elementary teacher Tanner Cross. The letter demands Cross’ reinstatement.

Cross was suspended after he said at a May 25 school board meeting that he could not abide by proposed rules that would require teachers to address transgender students by their chosen gender.

Here’s the transcript of what Cross said during the meeting:

My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who suffer with gender dysphoria. ‘60 Minutes’ this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned, but they felt led astray because lack of push back or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies in just three months. They are now detransitioning. It’s not my intent to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies, like 8040 and 8035, because it would damage children and defile the holy image of God. I love all 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 is against my religion, it’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it is sinning against our God.”

Tanner Cross

The school board is reviewing its policies in conjunction with a state mandate requiring all school systems to update their policies on transgender students. The model regulations circulated by the state include a requirement that students be addressed by their preferred pronouns.

The school system did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment.