A Christian physical education teacher in northern Virginia has been suspended after saying he will “never lie” to a student by affirming a person can be any sex other than that which corresponds with his or her biological makeup.
Bryon “Tanner” Cross made the comments during a Loudoun County school board meeting Tuesday, according to Fox News.
Cross was there to oppose a new policy within Loudoun County Public Schools requiring all staff to use students’ preferred pronouns and to allow transgender students to participate in sports activities however they identify, regardless of their biological sex.
The teacher began his brief remarks by saying he was “speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria.”
“’60 Minutes’ this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned,” Cross said, “but they felt led astray because of lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies in just three months. They are now de-transitioning.
He said he believes the policy changes in question “will damage children [and] defile the holy image of God.”
The policy states 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.”
It goes on to state “the use of gender neutral pronouns are appropriate,” adding, “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.”
“I love all of my students, but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences,” Cross asserted. “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.”
After sharing his views, Cross was placed on leave from Leesburg Elementary School, according to Principal Shawn Lacey, who informed parents via email.
“In his absence, his duties will be covered by substitute staff already working in our building,” Lacey wrote. “I wanted you to know this because it may affect your student’s school routine. Because this involves a personnel matter, I can offer no further information.”
Wayde Byard, a spokesperson for LCPS, told Fox News the decision to place an employee on leave is not the principal’s responsibility.
“The contents of personnel files are confidential under state and federal law,” he said. “I cannot comment other to say that Mr. Cross is on administrative leave with pay.”