Two Teachers Ask to Join Lawsuit Challenging Loudoun School Division’s Transgender Policy

The legal team representing Byron “Tanner” Cross, the teacher placed on leave after criticizing the Loudoun County Public Schools’ transgender protections, is asking the Circuit Court to add two more teachers to the lawsuit and to halt the school district’s implementation of Policy 8040.

Alliance Defending Freedom filed the request on Monday to add Monica Gill, a history teacher at Loudoun County High School, and Kim Wright, a Smart’s Mill Middle School English teacher, to the suit. The request to change the suit will need to be approved by a Circuit Court judge.

The controversial Policy 8040, which was adopted by the embattled School Board last week, complies with a Virginia mandate that school divisions enact protections for transgender and gender expansive students by the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Under the policy, students are entitled to be called by their chosen name and pronouns, and to use facilities that correspond with their gender identities. The policy, as well as other initiatives to protect marginalized students, have been viewed by some parents in Loudoun as divisive, and have spurred on a recall effort against six members of the School Board. 

Gill has been vocal about her opposition to the district’s equity work. She has appeared on Fox News to discuss the influence of Critical Race Theory on teacher trainings, and spoke during the “Education not Indoctrination” rally in Leesburg on June 12.

Cross was placed on administrative leave after he told the School Board during its May 25 meeting that he would not affirm transgender students with their chosen pronouns because it would be against his religion. 

“It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it is sinning against our God,” Cross said.

The School Board, after receiving a flurry of complaints from parents of Cross’ students at Leesburg Elementary School following his remarks, placed Cross on paid administrative leave on May 27. Cross and ADF sued for his reinstatement, and Judge James E. Plowman granted an emergency injunction to reinstate Cross to his position. The division appealed the decision, arguing that it overlooked schools’ responsibilities to protect students. The appeal will now be heard in Virginia Supreme Court. 

“Teachers shouldn’t be forced to promote ideologies that are harmful to their students and that they believe are false,” ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer said. “Public employees cannot be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep a job. Freedom—of speech and religious exercise-—includes the freedom not to speak messages against our core beliefs.

Langhofer said that the teachers would use whatever name a student wishes to be called, but not the pronoun that does not correspond with their biological sex.

During last Tuesday’s meeting, ahead of the vote on the policy, the School Board fielded a swarth of public comments from parents both in support of, and against, the transgender protections. 

The public comment portion of the meeting lasted hours, and the board ultimately voted to delay the vote until Wednesday. Prior to the vote, School Board members weighed in on the Policy. Only Jeff Morse (Dulles) was highly critical of the policy. 

Morse said that he felt ill at ease with several stipulations in the policy. He delivered a lengthy speech, arguing that such policies don’t exist to protect all marginalized groups, and passing Policy 8040 would necessitate passing similar protections for other groups. He pointed to Policy 1040, which already provides students with an equal opportunity for a safe, inclusive learning environment.

“Teachers are not monsters who pick on at-risk kids, and they don’t need to be told to love their students. They already do,” Morse said.

Morse’s comments sparked an impassioned response from Ian Serotkin (Blue Ridge), “I hope this is not the case, but it sounds as if you think bullying of LGBTQ students in LCPS is a thing of the past and it doesn’t happen today, and if you believe that, I would encourage you to speak to more gay and transgender students, because I don’t know how you could say that with a straight face,” Serotkin said.

The meeting featured two student representatives to the School Board. Jamie Kaine, a Heritage High School senior, shared her support of the policy.

“I have been able to use the girls’ bathrooms and the girls’ restrooms freely, and I would feel no fear and no intimidation from transgender women being in the same bathroom, as well, because transgender women are women,” Kaine said. “These are not people that are coming into the bathroom to look at us or creep on us, that is not the goal of this movement and I think that often gets confused and I understand the fear but that’s not realistic.”

Other teachers have criticized the policy. Laura Morris, a Lucketts Elementary School Teachers, gave her resignation to the School Board during her public comment.

 “This summer I have struggled with the idea of returning to school, knowing that I’ll be working yet again with a school division that, despite its shiny tech and flashy salary, promotes political ideologies that do not square with who I am as a believer in Christ.”

A hearing for the case is set for Sept. 7 in the Loudoun County District Court.

14 thoughts on “Two Teachers Ask to Join Lawsuit Challenging Loudoun School Division’s Transgender Policy

  • 2021-08-17 at 1:38 pm

    Ms. Gill had a peculiar definition of what it means to be “Christian.” Jesus would stand with the trans children and against people like her.

    Having read her pieces in The Federalist and her nonsensical complaints about more inclusive policies for students who identify as trans, I can’t help but think she’s just wrestling with some cognitive dissonance and maybe should listen more and speak less.

    Or, more to the point: Angry white lady says wut?

    • 2021-08-17 at 4:49 pm

      So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. — Genesis 1:27

      • 2021-08-17 at 11:08 pm

        But God made no mention of gender identity, and Jesus was a radical, liberal social justice warrior. So.

  • 2021-08-17 at 3:04 pm

    Bringing race into a trans issue typifies how the left operates. With respect to where Jesus would stand on the issue, your beliefs are none of my business, and theirs are none of yours.

    • 2021-08-17 at 11:07 pm

      My dude. Her entire rationale for her invalid beliefs is predicated on a twisted version of Christianity. She is looking to impose that on children.

      And you people go on about “indoctrination.”

      Spare me.

  • 2021-08-17 at 3:35 pm

    We just really really want to belittle and bully you’re transgender kid.
    We don’t care about the psychologists they’ve seen, the insistent, consistent, and persistent feelings of transgender feelings they have. Nor do we care that we may be driving them to self-harm or even suicide. Yah, yah, we’ve seen you post links to information about it. We don’t care that the schools are just following state law, and that the state law follows court decisions like Gavin Grimm’s case right here in Virginia.
    We miss the days when we could swim, eat, and go the bathroom knowing no black folk were with us. And we miss being able to call a 6 foot black man with kids “boy.”
    We don’t care that to you, this seems to be the ONE issue that we can pull from the bible and be angry about. Eating shellfish and pork, getting tattoos, being divorced and killing people overseas with drones seems like small potatoes compared to just letting a 13 year old kid struggling with gender identity pee in peace and without verbal abuse by state paid authority figures.
    Yep – we just want to abuse these kids. And we ain’t givin’up on it. Because – Jebus.

    • 2021-08-17 at 7:45 pm

      If you think all of the trans kids have seen therapists, psychiatrists, etc. then we do not share the same experience. In my neighborhood, there are two families who have decided that their child “identifies” as something other than what they were born as, and in both cases, it was the parents who made the decision for their kids- no professionals were involved.
      In one case, little “Max” (name changed to protect the kid) was a normal little girl who was going through a Tomboy phase, but her super woke mom decided that this is who she is, and demanded that everyone call her daughter by a male’s name and treat her like a boy. The kid is 8. After buying all kinds of boy’s clothes, toys, etc. and running right to the school board to demand her “boy” be treated as such, the lady confided in another neighbor that the child doesn’t want to be a boy anymore, but SHE (the parent!) doesn’t want to reverse everything she has done quite yet, because she wants the kid to make a final decision before undoing all her hard work. We’re talking about an eight year old child- who will change their mind every other day. This is why we let kids work things out while they are young and we don’t get so involved that a kid feels trapped.

      • 2021-08-18 at 4:52 pm

        This is the major harm that will be incurred by kids. First, we must agree that being trans is not a normal state. It is to be avoided at all costs if the kid’s state is not truly irreversible. And even then, many would choose to live life as being gay or lesbian after weighing the pros and cons.

        John, your anecdote is backed up research that shows clustering among girls who start identifying as males. Given the tiny number of confirmed trans individuals, especially with respect to these false positives, everybody including teachers, parents and clinicians should be extremely careful.

        In the case of Gavin Grimm, the child didn’t broach the issue with with parents till the latter half of 9th grade. By the end of the 9th grade, the child was in hormone blockers and insisting on a new identity. That is NOT a careful consideration of such a momentous decision. No e of the radical trans activists will acknowledge that including WhatIAm. Until they acknowledge the potential catastrophic mistakes, nobody should take them seriously.

  • 2021-08-17 at 3:45 pm

    The core problem is the Democrats in Richmond who forced this policy on all school districts in the Commonwealth. They ARE on the ballot this year. Vote out all the Democrats in the House of Delegates and on the State ticket (nobody likes McAuliffe anyway) and return sanity to the schools. Voting starts in September and lasts until November. Save the kids. Vote Republican.

      • 2021-08-20 at 10:37 am

        Considering the current Biden fiasco in Afghanistan, it’s hilarious that you compare the Republicans to the Taliban. I saw a post were Biden was named the Taliban employee of the month. But this is all iff topic.

  • 2021-08-17 at 4:17 pm

    Being Christian means standing up for what you believe in. II am very familiar with the bible and it does not reference transgender people. Mrs. Gill is a quality teacher and you would be lucky to have her as a teacher.

    • 2021-08-21 at 6:46 pm

      Really, it does not. That is not what being Christian means *at all.*

      Stop hiding behind the Christian faith to justify your completely invalid beliefs.

  • 2021-08-19 at 10:34 am

    If you want to work for a school with your ideals, why not just leave and go work for a Catholic school.

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