ACLU, Partners File Amicus Brief in Tanner Cross Case

The ACLU of Virginia and partner groups filed an amicus brief in Circuit Court to oppose the emergency petition filed on behalf of Byron “Tanner” Cross, the teacher who was placed on leave after speaking out against the district’s proposed transgender student protections, and his other plaintiffs. 

The ACLU is joined on the brief by Equality Virginia, Equality Loudoun, Side By Side, and He She Ze and We. 

“Treating  students consistently with their gender identity is crucial for their mental health and wellbeing, has been shown to reduce the amount of harassment they face in school, and in turn improves their academic performance,” the brief reads.

Cross told the board during its May 25 meeting that complying with the then-proposed Policy 8040, which provides protections and rights for transgender and gender expansive students, would violate his Christian faith. His remarks shocked members of the community at Leesburg Elementary School, where Cross teaches physical education. He was placed on leave on May 27, and sued for his reinstatement. He was awarded an emergency injunction to return to his position, which the school district appealed and lost in the state supreme court. Two other teachers in the district joined the case, and are being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents clients to protect conservative Christian values. It is labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for views such as supporting criminalizing sexual acts between LGBT adults, and working to preserve laws mandating sterilization of transgender people in other countries.

“While the teachers may disagree with the policy, they do not have the right to violate it in their capacity as K-12 teachers in the Loudoun County school system,” the brief says.

During the May 28 meeting, Cross cited a 60 Minutes special that continued claims that have largely been debunked, including that most young trans children eventually revert to their born genders.

“We know that discriminatory practices, such as the refusal to use a student’s gender-affirming pronouns, can exacerbate gender dysphoria and harm socio-emotional development during critical childhood years. Policy 8040 ensures that trans and non-binary students can focus on their education without the added stigmatization, stress and anxiety of being misgendered by their teachers,” the brief says.

The case is set for argument of pretrial motions Nov. 5. A trial on the injection is scheduled for Nov. 8.

9 thoughts on “ACLU, Partners File Amicus Brief in Tanner Cross Case

  • 2021-10-18 at 2:54 pm

    I’m glad the ACLU of Virginia & other advocacy groups have filed an amici brief opposing these teachers’ attempt to block Policy 8040. According to court papers, one of the teachers has been advised by an LCPS guidance counselor to use appropriate pronouns for a Non-Cisgender student. (Time will tell if the teacher cooperates.) The three teachers have requested an accommodation to address Non-Cisgender students by name rather than pronouns. But that would treat Non-Cisgender students in a disparate manner. I’m glad LCPS is standing by Policy 8040. P.S. — Any attempt to link Policy 8040 to the Stone Bridge High & Broad Run High alleged incidents should be avoided until more information is known.

  • 2021-10-18 at 3:01 pm

    I’m curious… there doesn’t seem to be any record of the ACLU defending the free speech of Mr Cross when he was unlawfully punished by the LCPS for public comments about a proposed policy.

    Oh, and once again.. a request to the “journalist” who wrote this piece… how about toning down the advocacy just a couple of notches?
    This may actually be one of your most-biased stories. And that’s really saying something.
    Good grief.

  • 2021-10-18 at 3:49 pm

    One for the suggestion box: Perhaps the reporter should do a little research into the SPLC before relying on them as some sort of credible supporting source.

  • 2021-10-18 at 4:43 pm

    It is good to see the ACLU has completely abandoned the concept of freedom of speech and freedom of conscience. No government can force me to call a dog a cat. No government agency can force me to state that 2 + 2 = 5.

    We have arrived: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength

  • 2021-10-18 at 6:09 pm

    The ACLU’s website has a section entitled “YOUR RIGHT TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.” I guess they forgot.

  • 2021-10-18 at 7:54 pm

    Let’s move beyond the hatred and fear of LGBT people and make Loudoun County a better safer place for everyone.

  • 2021-10-19 at 9:53 am

    SPLC steadfastly refuses to classify Antifa as a “domestic terrorist” organization.

    The same Antifa that has fire bombed occupied Federal buildings and committed millions upon millions of dollars in property crime across the county.

    SPLC provides air cover for its Left wing allies, while using its “credibility” to attack its political enemies.

    Using them as a reference for a new story, shows about as much journalistic “integrity” as using Snopes as a fact checking reference. Neither are appropriate. Do better.

  • 2021-10-19 at 7:04 pm

    It is disappointing to witness the ACLU intervening in this case to oppose liberty rather than to uphold liberty.

  • 2021-10-20 at 11:42 am

    Loudoun Now’s bias is obvious with the attempt here to besmirch the reputation of Mr. Cross’ council. ADF is the largest organization in the country defending important rights such as free speech, religious freedom and parental rights. Loudoun Now’s attack on ADF by quoting Southern Poverty Law Center is laughable as SPLC’s mission is simply to label EVERY group that doesn’t share their leftist dogma as “hate groups”. So…Christian = Hate Group. Traditional Family = Hate Group.

    Meanwhile, council for the plaintive, ACLU has an abhorrent record of stifling the freedoms listed above.

    Rather than talk about the attorney’s, let’s stick to the merits of the case which had it’s birth when Mr. Cross said in an open hearing that if LCPS were to implement a policy that required teachers to refer to boys as girls, if the boys said they were girls (and vice versa), then he could not, in good conscious, comply. I for one strongly support his position and now we’ll see what our judiciary decides.

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