School district settles with Christian teacher in free speech battle

School district settles with Christian teacher in free speech battle

Loudoun County (Virginia) school teacher Tanner Cross spoke against a proposed district policy in May. While his lawsuit challenging the policy continues, the district this week announced a settlement with Cross.

School district settles with Christian teacher in free speech battle

A Virginia teacher who was punished by his school district for his public opposition to a pro-transgender policy says he has been "vindicated" by his accusers.

Tanner Cross (pictured) – a P.E. teacher in Loudoun County – stated during a school board meeting in May that he would not and could not lie to his students and refer to them by a student's preferred pronoun(s). At the time, he cited his religious beliefs about gender. For making those statements, he was suspended from his teaching position – but was then reinstated on August 31.


"I'm a teacher but I serve God first," Cross stated in May, "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."

Yesterday, Cross received word that the Loudoun County School Board has agreed to a permanent injunction prohibiting it from retaliating against him for expressing his opposition to the transgender policy. According to his legal counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, the board has also agreed to remove from his personnel file any reference to the suspension – and to pay $20,000 toward his attorneys' fees.

In an interview today with Fox News, Cross shared that he feels like he and other educators who oppose policies like this have been "vindicated."

"This is a huge win for teachers in this community. I'm so glad to be back with my students, and my students are happy that I'm there. You know, I feel vindicated," he stated. "I just hope other teachers feel confident as I do now just with this huge victory and maybe they'll go advocate for their students."

ADF says a lawsuit challenging the district's policy will continue, however. "Our lawsuit asks the court to protect the constitutional rights of our clients by immediately halting enforcement of this harmful school district policy," explains ADF senior counsel Tyson Langhofer.

New claims from two other area teachers were added to Cross's lawsuit in mid-August.

11/17/2021 - Additional comments added from Tanner Cross interview on Fox News.