A judge in Virginia has reinstated a teacher on Tuesday who called using a student’s correct pronouns child abuse.
The Loudoun County School Board suspended Tanner Cross, a physical education teacher after he told the board at a May meeting that he objected to a proposed policy that would honor a student’s pronouns — a policy meant to support trans students in the district.
He told the board that he couldn’t “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa,” according to The Washington Post. The outlet noted that Cross cited the recent 60 Minutes segment on trans health care that advocates have called disinformation.
The school board had placed Cross on leave on May 27, forbidding him from stepping onto any school district property or attending board meetings.
Cross had sued the board on June 1. He argued that his suspension went against his First Amendment rights, according to local media.
Last Friday, Cross asked for a preliminary injunction to lift his suspension and ban him from the school district property and meetings.
On Tuesday, 20th Circuit Judge James E. Plowman Jr. ruled in favor of the injunction. He called the board's decision to suspend Cross “an unconstitutional action” that “has silenced others from speaking publicly on the issue,” according to The Washington Post.
“My kids know I’m transgender, and many of our friends are transgender,” Cris Candice Tuck, a trans parent of a 6-year-old son in Loudon, told the outlet. “They know what the effects of things like misgendering and dead-naming can be.”
Tuck said his son had looked up to Cross. Now, Tuck will seek an exemption from the school so his son can skip Cross’ class.
After the judge’s decision came out, a school board meeting was held in person for the first time in months.
The Washington Post reported that the parents gathered outside the district’s administrative building with signs that read “Protect Trans Kids,” but others were also present that were in support of Cross. During the meeting, more than 100 people signed up to speak.
The meeting grew so tense inside that the school board chair had to demand a recess until those in attendance were able to calm down.