Schools settle with teacher who sued over transgender policy

November 16, 2021 GMT

LEESBURG, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia school system has settled with a gym teacher who sued over the district’s policy requiring teachers to address transgender students by their pronouns.

The Loudoun County school board agreed to permanently reinstate physical education instructor Tanner Cross and pay part of his legal fees, The Washington Post reported.

Cross, who works at Leesburg Elementary, was suspended after he denounced the county’s transgender policy at a May school board meeting, declaring he would never use a transgender child’s pronouns.

Cross sued in June, alleging officials violated his rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion. Cross was reinstated while the suit proceeded and on Monday, a judge granted Cross a permanent injunction to be reinstated to his teaching position. The school board agreed to remove the suspension from Cross’ personnel file and pay $20,000 to help cover legal fees.


A Loudoun schools spokesman didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

Other claims will proceed in Cross’s suit, which was amended to seek the transgender policy’s repeal. Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Cross, sought a temporary injunction to prevent enforcement of the policy. The judge didn’t rule Monday, but indicated that he might rule between Thanksgiving and Christmas.