A judge in Loudoun County, Virginia has ordered that the school district reinstate a PE teacher who was suspended for speaking out against the districts new transgender policy.
The judge ruled that the teacher was wrongfully suspended and eluded to the school having fired him over his religious beliefs and religious speech.
From PJ Media:
On Tuesday, a judge ordered the Loudoun County, Va., school district to reinstate a physical education teacher who dared to speak out against a policy that would require teachers to endorse transgender identity by using female pronouns to refer to male students and vice versa. Roughly 24 hours later, the district suspended the teacher and barred him from setting foot on school property. The judge ruled that this suspension likely violated the teacher’s First Amendment right to free speech.
“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 a temporary injunction have been satisfied,” Judge James E. Plowman, Jr. of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, wrote in his order.
Plowman granted Byron [Tanner] Cross, the PE teacher, the temporary injunction he sought. Under the terms of the injunction, the school district “shall immediately reinstate [Cross] to his position as it was prior to the issuance of his suspension and remove the ban that was placed upon him from all buildings and grounds of Loudoun County Public Schools.” The injunction will remain until December 31, 2021.
“Nobody should be punished for expressing concern about a proposed government policy, especially when the government invites comment on that policy. For that reason, we are pleased at the court’s decision to halt Loudoun County Public Schools’ retaliation against Tanner Cross while his lawsuit continues,” Michael Farris, president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the law firm representing the teacher, said in a statement on Tuesday.
While the case for the PE teacher is not over this order points to a potential victory for the PE teacher later down the line. The suggestion that his firing was the result of his beliefs may prove to be key in winning upcoming legal battles.