Virginia Teacher 'Put On Leave' After Refusing To Use Fake Pronouns For 'Identifying' Students

P. Gardner Goldsmith | June 2, 2021
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Imagine being a math teacher, asking students, “What is two, plus two?” and, upon hearing a student answer five, telling him or her that the answer is incorrect, only to then be put on “Administrative Leave” by the school bureaucrats for it.

That’s a potent metaphor for the experience of Leesburg Elementary School gym teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross.

On Tuesday, May 25, Cross appeared at the overseeing Loudoun County School Board meeting to oppose its plan called Draft Policy 8040, which would make teachers comply with Virginia State Board of Education to, in part, use a students' "preferred pronouns" that correspond to their gender "identity."


Because, of course, when it comes to helping your kids learn, there’s no better system than forcibly taking your neighbor’s money and funneling it through a byzantine, collectivist monopoly run by government.

Daft Policy 8040— sorry, that’s DRAFT Policy 8040 – states, in part: 

“LCPS staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record.”

Which not only will be a lot of fun on the first day of the year, as teachers try to match kids with their roll-calls, but for the entire year, as wily kids constantly change their names, just to tweak the teachers. But, hey, these are only names, and kids often ask teachers to use their nicknames in class. It’s in the next portion that we see the local board completely diverging from reality, even as it furthers its “tyranny through so-called recognition of diversity” model. 

“School staff shall, at the request of a student or parent/legal guardian, when using a name or pronoun to address the student, use the name and pronoun that correspond to their gender identity.”

So, since, for the vast, vast, vast majority of humans, save those who were born hermaphroditic, “gender identity” has nothing to do with biological reality, this inspires a logical person to ponder whether students can order other Postmodernist realities, as well.

Could a student who fails to grasp the Pythagorean Theorem claim that he or she “identifies” as a genius who aced a geometry exam? Could a student who embraces the delusion that he or she is married to a teacher, or a chair, be coddled and allowed to think so? How about a student who “identifies” as having attended class, when, in fact, that student was at home reading articles from MRCTV?

And there's always the pronoun "THEY," which is used incorrectly by millions and completely inappropriate to apply to a single person, especially if one works in an emergency room or reporting on crime.

Related: LGBT Group Views Gulags as 'Compassionate' For Education

At the thrilling school board meeting on May 25th, Cross took extra time out of his life to stand before the bureaucrats and oppose the measure, noting that he was speaking out love for kids who suffer from gender dysphoria, then, saying, in part:

“We condemn school policies like 8040 and 8035 because it would damage children, [and] defile the holy image of God. 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, it’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child and it’s sinning against our God.”

But that didn’t sit well with most of the school board members, and so, as R. Cort Kirkwood reports for The New American, "the school board couldn’t accept that deviationism. It placed Cross on paid administrative leave two days later."

And Cort refers to the Loudon Times-Mirror, which wrote:

“Physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross is on paid administrative leave as of Thursday, Loudoun County Public Schools Public Information Officer Wayde Byard said Friday in an email to The Times-Mirror.

‘I'm contacting you to let you know that one of our physical education teachers, Tanner Cross, is on leave beginning this morning,’ LES Principal Shawn Lacy said in a Thursday email to parents.”

The Times-Mirror notes that Mr. Byard did not indicate whether placing Cross on “Administrative Leave” came as a result of his public testimony, but, given the other action by the board, that seems likely.

Indeed, Cross’s statement seems to have spurred action, because the Board did not approve its original version of the plan. Instead, it approved a “B” version that removed and changed some language, creating an order that will have the same effect by different rhetorical means. While ‘Version B’ of Policy 1040 makes no mention of gender pronouns or asserted names, it does govern staff behavior related to gender issues. The adopted policy prohibits ‘[d]emeaning or otherwise harmful actions’ on the basis of ‘sexual orientation, perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,’ among other characteristics.”

So the same problems can arise, and the members of the board can claim they tried to accommodate the “concerns” of folks like Mr. Cross who saw this coming.

And the state has commanded this, as the Times-Mirror notes, and this is worth repeating, here:

“Draft Policy 8040 was written in response to Virginia House Bill 145 and Senate Bill 161, which are identical pieces of legislation.

Those bills require school boards in the commonwealth to adopt "policies that are consistent with … model policies developed by the [Virginia] Department of Education" no later than the start of the 2021-2022 academic year.

VDOE model policies regarding the treatment of transgender students in Virginia elementary and secondary schools were made available to school boards last year.

Per HB 145 and SB 161, those model policies were written ‘in accordance with evidence-based best practices" and in "compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws.’"

Ahh, yes. "Evidence-based best practices" -- those bureaucratic euphemisms bandied around as much as the false smiles of politicians on the hustings, all to hide the fact that you, the taxpayer, will continue to pay while they apply their policies to ALL Virginia public schools.

This insanity might inspire many more folks to turn their backs on the system. Indeed, the more of these policies we see, the more we’ll see people fleeing the government schools.

No matter how much the politicians claim they "identify" as caring, one doesn't care for people by taking their cash and forcing them to live according to government diktat. That's as anti-reality as calling kids by the wrong pronoun.

Related: Dr. Jordan Peterson: Students Are Being 'Taught By Ideologues, Not by Educators'