A Loudoun County Circuit Court judge on Sept. 2 accepted an amended lawsuit against Loudoun County Public Schools, which asks the court to immediately suspend a newly-adopted transgender policy that has garnered national attention, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) confirmed with the Times-Mirror.
The amended lawsuit adds two teachers — Monica Gill, who teaches history at Loudoun County High School, and Kim Wright, who teaches English at Smart’s Mill Middle School — to the original lawsuit filed on behalf of Byron “Tanner” Cross, a Leesburg Elementary School physical education teacher.
Cross was placed on administrative leave after stating on May 25 during a public comment portion of a School Board meeting that he would not refer to transgender students by their chosen names or pronouns.
In June, ADF attorneys filed the initial suit on behalf of Cross, claiming that the school division violated his constitutional rights by suspending him.
The hearing, originally scheduled to be heard in Loudoun County Circuit Court on Sept. 7 and 8, has been withdrawn, according to court records. No new hearing date has been set, according to ADF and court records.
A point of contention among detractors of Loudoun’s Policy 8040 is language that allows students to use chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their consistently asserted gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record.
The Loudoun County School Board adopted the policy on Aug. 11 with a 7-2 vote. Board members Jeff Morse and John Beatty voted against the policy.
The policy also allows transgender students access to a number of student activities and facilities, such as using the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their consistently asserted gender identity.
Further, the policy states that all school mental health professionals shall complete training on topics relating to LGBTQ+ students, including procedures for preventing and responding to bullying, harassment and discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
According to the amended suit, complying with the school board’s demands would force the teachers to communicate a message they believe is false.
Loudoun County Public Schools did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On June 8, Circuit Court Judge Jim Plowman Jr. issued a temporary injunction reinstating Cross following a three-hour hearing on June 4.
In the days following the injunction, Loudoun County Public Schools filed an appeal with the Virginia Supreme Court, challenging Plowman’s decision to reinstate Cross. The court is still reviewing the appeal of the injunction.
The Supreme Court on August 30 upheld Plowman’s decision.
During the May 25 School Board meeting Cross told board members he would “not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa,” citing his Christian faith as his reasoning.
Cross later said on Fox News that he would refer to a child by their desired name, but reiterated that he would not use a student’s desired pronouns, saying “I just can’t say things that are untrue.”
This is Times-Mirror alert. Check back to LoudounTimes.com for updates.