LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. - In Loudoun County, the school board is expected to vote Tuesday on a new conduct policy for its employees.
The vote will likely address the rights of school district employees to free speech. The meeting follows the case of Leesburg Elementary School physical education teacher Tanner Cross who opposed the school board over how to refer to transgender students.
At a meeting in May of this year, Cross said he refused to follow a proposed policy that teachers must use preferred pronouns for students. Cross was suspended from his job and put on paid leave after criticizing the then-proposed policy.
Cross sued to get his job back and a lower court agreed that his rights were violated and that the school district’s actions were likely unconstitutional. The Loudoun County School Board appealed that decision to the Virginia Supreme Court and last month, the high court agreed with the lower court’s decision to temporarily reinstate Cross.
The school board eventually passed a version of the proposed policy discussed at the May 25 school board meeting which says all of the school district’s students and staff must refer to "gender-expansive or transgender" students using whatever gender pronoun is chosen by the student, regardless of whether the pronoun is consistent with the student’s biological sex.
Attorneys from Alliance for Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian nonprofit group, recently asked the trial court to allow them to amend their lawsuit to challenge that policy on behalf of three faculty members. No new trial date scheduled for the suit.