UPDATE!: Virginia School Board Enjoined From Suspending Teacher.

The other day we posted about Tanner Cross, a Loudoun County, Virginia teacher that was suspended after he spoke at a School Board meeting as a private citizen against a policy that the Loudoun County School Board was considering dealing with transgendered students.

Once again, here are Cross’s comments:

Cross was called into a meeting a few days later and suspended. When the School District would not respond to the fact that Cross does not give up his rights to speak on topics and exercise his First Amendment rights. As we noted in our post, there is on point laws and Supreme Court decisions on that very issue.

On June 8, 2021, Judge James Plowman, Jr. of the 20th Judicial Circuit granted an injunction prevented the School Board from suspending Cross.

The Court finds that the Plaintiff’s speech and religious content are central to the determination made by the Defendants to suspend Plaintiff’s employment. The Court further finds that the weight of the evidence and the totality of the circumstances, clearly show that the four prongs for issuance of injunction had been satisfied.

The Loudoun County School Board has now announced they are appealing the judge’s decision. In a statement, the School Board said:

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This is laughable.

First, Cross’s comments did not create the disturbance in the school (even assuming there is such a disturbance.) What created the disturbance was the District suspending Cross, basically forcing Cross to sue to get his job back. At the injunction hearing, no evidence was presented that anyone had created any disturbance prior to the District suspending Cross. The School Board is trying to shift the blame from their actions to Cross’s comments – comments that are legally protected.

Secondly, the statement says that Cross’s rights of free speech and free exercise of religion “do not outweigh the rights of students to be educated in a supportive and nurturing environment.”

We’ve looked, and there is no right to have teachers, principals, district employees or School Boards to be censured outside of the classroom because a student is offended or disagrees with a teacher outside of the class.

The right to not be offended is no where in any Constitution or legal case, yet that is what the Loudoun County School Board is relying on.

They think that Cross was “mean” and so they want him fired.

They don’t have the ability to fire him which is why the judge enjoined them from doing so.

The School Board is waging a campaign based on feelings. Cross and his counsel, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), are dealing with the law and the rights of people.

2 Responses to “UPDATE!: Virginia School Board Enjoined From Suspending Teacher.”

  1. Percy Veer says:

    The sad thing is seeing how easily the school board is willing to spend taxpayer dollars to persecute this guy and violate his First amendment rights. Fortunately, he was able to find a conservative Christian non-profit that was willing to defend him. Without that group coming to his aid I doubt he would have had the resources to stand up for his constitutional rights. Seems to happen more and more where government (with basically unlimited access to legal resources) runs roughshod over a private citizens rights knowing the individual can’t afford a legal defense on their limited budget. A system were only those (i.e. Governments/big business) with the deepest pockets prevail doesn’t seem to be the most just system.

    • AAfterwit says:

      Percy Veer,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You are correct that the school board, along with many governmental agencies, don’t have to worry about costs of litigation. They can simply raise taxes or fees. The person being sued or subject to the people that trample on the rights of citizens has to gather money and support from outside sources.

      If Cross wins his case, the ADF should turn around and sue the school board, administrators and the School Board’s lawyer for this attempt to deny Cross his rights. We would love to see people removed from office (including the lawyer being disbarred) because of such blatantly illegal and unConstitutional retaliation against Cross.

      That won’t happen.

      As long as the people on Boards are support by other who are more concerned with keeping their job rather than doing the moral and legal thing, this will continue.

      Thanks again.

      A. Afterwit.