Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) have come back to the public eye after physical education teacher Tanner Cross was suspended, then reinstated by court order, for challenging the district’s proposed transgender policy.
Cross, citing religious objections and a concern for the safety and well-being of his students, challenged the rule requiring teachers to address children with pronouns consistent with their gender identity, rather than their biological sex, “without any convincing evidence”. After some parents complained, putting pressure on the elementary school, Cross was released until further notice.
Dozens of parents and teachers came to Cross’s defense at a school board meeting on Tuesday, denouncing the district’s treatment of the beloved teacher, his imposition of inclusion mandates and his removal instructors who dare dissent or challenge the status quo.
Monica Gill, grade 12 social studies teacher, in an exclusive interview with National exam, said the district has created “a very hostile environment” with its equity initiatives.
“We are continually being told that we are in a conversation but there is no real conversation,” noted Gill.
During the hearing, Gill stood in the podium and lambasted the school board for silencing the opposition, referring to a policy he voted on last fall to end criticism from teachers and employees as well as an anti-racist Facebook group used to direct questions from parents and staff. .
“My colleague Tanner Cross was put on leave for expressing his religious beliefs and concerns. These actions sound like totalitarianism, not the Constitution, ”Gill noted.
“I am above all a Christian. What is the most important? We are looking at the truths, not the lies. We are looking at the character, not the color of the skin. We love our work and we love others. Know this, we will not give in, ”she continued.
Gill said National exam that the Tanner Cross debacle was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the district’s diversity, inclusion and equality agenda.
“The situation with Tanner Cross is one issue within a larger set of issues in LCPS for promoting equity,” she said.
Gill mentioned that in elementary and middle schools in Virginia, a new program called “social and emotional learning” is underway to indoctrinate children with a “progressive left-wing social justice warrior program,” in Gill’s words. . The AP government teacher said she had friends at lower levels who updated her on the latest developments for students in the younger age range.
Gill has confirmed that LCPS teachers are required to enroll in race-based diversity and inclusion training, however, she says LGBTQ equity training is next.
While there has been no formal administrative directive, Gill said it does imply that teachers will bring their new knowledge of the equity program back to their classrooms in a process she invented “indoctrination.” by runoff ”.
“The implicit expectation is that you re-integrate it into your course material,” Gill added.
“I thought my job was to show students different perspectives, am I supposed to be a teacher or an indoctrator? Gill commented.
As for the Tanner Cross case, he has won his first legal victory now that a judge has granted a preliminary injunction and ordered that he be immediately reinstated in his post at the school. The litigation is still ongoing, a trial date will likely be set soon.
Tyson Langhofer, a senior lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) team representing Cross, said National exam that the ruling shows the First Amendment still maintains its force that “we can win these battles if people like Tanner stand up and say we can’t be silenced by government bureaucrats.”
Langhofer asserted that there is an ongoing debate within the LCPS and across the country on the issue of LGBTQ inclusion. He said, however, that LCPS “engages in political activism rather than meeting the needs of students, teachers and parents in the community.”
The lawyer said Cross felt optimistic about the situation, believing that public schools are diverse and should live together in a pluralistic society.
According to Langhofer, the fight to prevent progressive ideology from infiltrating public schools and supplanting quality education is far from over.
“People feel helpless in the face of this culture of cancellation, but they don’t have to. We can win if people speak the way they want and don’t back down, ”he said.