Byron "Tanner" Cross, a Christian educator for physical education at Loudoun County, Virginia was placed on administrative leave following his speech saying that "a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa."
The Christian teacher decried the Loudoun County Public Schools' (LCPS) new transgender-affirming policies, which required educators and school staff to call students by their preferred pronouns and allow them to engage in school activities according to their gender identity, as opposed to their biological sex, including team sports.
"I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria," Cross declared during his speech, as reported by FOX News. The Christian teacher then cited a "60 minutes" special on the issue of transgenderism. The special, which aired on Sunday, featured more than 30 young people who transitioned but felt some level of regret during their transition.
Cross shared how detransitioners felt they were "led astray" due to the "lack of pushback" and how "easy" it was to go to a doctor and ask to have "physical changes" done to their bodies. Detransitioning has earned more media coverage in the last couple of years, with some detransitioners such as Charlie Evans, Helena Kerschner, and Keira Bell sounding the alarm on transition regret and how medical professionals who provide transitions make it too easy for minors to make huge life-altering, sometimes misguided, decisions at an early age.
Cross added that while it was not his "intention to hurt anyone," there were "certain truths that we must face when ready." But transgenderism is often a divisive topic that results in lawsuits and media censorship.
"I love all of my students but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I'm a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it's against my religion," Cross declared. "It's lying to a child, it's abuse to a child, and it's sinning against our God."
Parents Against Critical Theory or PACT received a copy of an email from Loudoun County's Principal Shawn Lacey in which he announced Cross' "leave" and that he could not provide additional information. LCPS spokesman Wayde Byard however confirmed that "Mr. Cross is on administrative leave with pay."
According to The Blaze, Cross referred to LCPS' Policy 8040 that requires school staff to use the name and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity and that the "use of gender-neutral pronouns are appropriate." The policy warned that anyone who does not comply will be "in violation of this policy." The Christian teacher also referred to Policy 8350, which allows transgender students to pursue school activities that are "consistent" with their gender identity.
Cross "condemned" these policies, saying it will "damage children" and "defile the holy image of God." It is yet unclear when the Christian teacher will be allowed to return to his work as an educator at LCPS following his rejection of its transgenderism policies.
The New York Post reported that Cross' wife, Angela, took to Facebook to air her concerns over her husband's forced administrative leave. She wrote that while they believe American citizens have the right to uphold their beliefs, "No American has the right to impose their beliefs on others."
Angela lamented about how her husband was not able to bid a proper goodbye to his pupils and co-teachers before his administrative leave but is determined to "do everything he can" to return to his job. She wrote, "In answer to the many question of what you can do to help, first please stand with us in truth and with love on God's word."
(Erratum: misspelled the name of Loudoun County as "Loudon" thrice. Article has been updated to correct wrong spellings. We apologize for any confusion this might have caused.)