A Virginia elementary school gym teacher who told the school board he would not “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa” has since been placed on administrative leave.
During the Tuesday Loudoun County school board meeting, Byron “Tanner” Cross said he could not, in accordance with his religious beliefs, tell students who are biological boys that they are girls.
“My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who suffer with gender dysphoria,” Cross said. (RELATED: USA Today Removed Word ‘Male’ From Female Athlete’s Op-Ed On Biological Males In Girl’s Sports, Calling The Term ‘Hurtful’)
“’60 Minutes’ this past Sunday interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned but they felt led astray because lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies in just three months,” Cross said. “They are now detransitioning.”
“It’s not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies [that] would damage children, defile the holy image of God.”
“I love all of 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’s against my religion. It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God.”
Cross has since been placed on administrative leave, Loudoun County Public Schools information officer Wayde B. Byard said in a statement to the Daily Caller.
In an email to parents at the Leesburg Elementary school, Principal Shawn Lacey said “I’m contacting you to let you know that one of our physical education teachers, Tanner Cross, is on leave beginning this morning. In his absence, his duties will be covered by substitute staff already working in our building,” according to Fox News.
“I wanted you to know this because it may affect your student’s school routine,” Lacey’s email continued, according to Fox News. “Because this involves a personnel matter, I can offer no further information.”
Lacey did not make the decision to put Cross on leave, spokesman Wayde Byard told Fox News.
Cross was referring to policy 8040 which ordered Loudoun staff to use preferred pronouns.
“LCPS staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record,” the policy reads. “School staff shall… use the name and pronoun that correspond to their gender identity.”