Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) has returned to the public eye after physical-education teacher Tanner Cross was suspended, then subsequently reinstated by court order, for taking issue with the district’s proposed transgender policy.
Cross, citing religious objections and a concern for the safety and well-being of his students, disputed the rule requiring faculty to address kids with pronouns consistent with their gender identity, rather than biological sex, “without any substantiating evidence.” After some parents complained, pressuring the elementary school, Cross was released until further notice.
Dozens of parents and teachers came to Cross’s defense during a school board meeting Tuesday, slamming the district’s treatment of the beloved teacher, its imposition of inclusivity mandates, and its suppression of those instructors who dare dissent or question the status quo.
Twelfth grade social-studies teacher Monica Gill, in an exclusive interview with National Review, said that the district has created “a very hostile environment” with its equity initiatives.
“We are continually told we are in a conversation but there is no real conversation,” Gill noted.
During the hearing, Gill stood at the podium and blasted the school board for silencing the opposition, referencing a policy it voted on last fall to shut down teacher and employee criticisms as well as an anti-racist Facebook group used to dox questioning parents and staff.
“My colleague Tanner Cross was put on leave for expressing his religious convictions and concerns. These actions resemble totalitarianism, not the Constitution,” Gill remarked.
“First and foremost I am a Christian. What is most important? We look at truths, not lies. We look at character, not skin color.We love our work and we love others. Know this, we will not yield,” she continued.
Gill told National Review that the Tanner Cross debacle was the tip of the iceberg as far as the district’s diversity, inclusion, and equal outcome agenda.
“The situation with Tanner Cross is an issue under a larger umbrella of problems in LCPS for equity push,” she said.
Gill mentioned that at elementary and middle schools in Virginia, a new program called “social emotional learning” is under way to indoctrinate children with a “left progressive social justice warrior curriculum,” in Gill’s words. The AP government teacher said she has friends at the lower levels that have clued her in to the latest developments for students in the younger age range.
Gill confirmed that faculty in LCPS are required to enroll in diversity and inclusion training that focuses on race, however, she says LGBTQ equity training is next.
While there’s been no official administrative directive, Gill said that it’s implied that teachers will take their new knowledge from the equity programming back to their classrooms in a process she coined “trickle down indoctrination.”
“The implicit expectation is that you will incorporate it back into your course material,” Gill added.
“I thought my job was to shows students different perspectives, am I supposed to be a teacher or an indoctrinator?” Gill commented.
As far as Tanner Cross’s case, he won his first legal victory now a judge granted a preliminary injunction and order he be reinstated to his post at school immediately. The litigation is still pending a trial date will likely be set soon.
Tyson Langhofer, a senior attorney on the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) team representing Cross, told National Review that the ruling shows the First Amendment still maintains its force that that “we can win these battles if people like Tanner stand up and say we cannot be silenced by government bureaucrats.”
Langhofer affirmed that there’s an ongoing debate in LCPS and throughout the country on the issue of LGBTQ inclusion. He claimed, however, that LCPS is “engaging in political activism rather than serving the needs of students, teachers, and parents in the community.”
The lawyer said that Cross is feeling optimistic about the situation, believing that public schools are diverse and should live together in a pluralistic society.
According to Langhofer, the fight to prevent progressive ideology from infiltrating public schools and supplanting quality education is far from lost.
“People feel powerless against this cancel culture but they don’t have to. We can win if people speak their mins and don’t back down,” he said.