Teachers are asking a Virginia court to stop a school district’s new speech policy that they consider coercive.
Last week, Loudoun County Public Schools passed a policy which requires all teachers and students to use any pronoun that is demanded by any student. (See related story) American Family News spoke with Alliance Defending Freedom, the law firm representing three teachers in the case known as Cross v. Loudoun County School Board.
“This policy is essentially forcing all teachers and students to promote ideologies that are harmful to their students,” says ADF attorney Tyson Langhofer. “So, this lawsuit essentially requests that the court enter an order ordering Loudoun County not to compel teachers to speak messages that are contrary to their conscience.”
While schools have the right to determine their curriculum and some of the things that they want teachers to communicate, Langhofer argues that doesn’t mean teachers completely lose their constitutional rights.
“Obviously, much of teaching deals with interpersonal communication with students and teachers and faculty members and administrators – [but] teachers don’t give up those rights simply because they become employed,” the attorney explains.
A hearing on the case is scheduled to take place in the next few weeks, but Langhofer says school is starting and they need some guidance fairly soon.
“There is an ongoing debate throughout our country right now about the most compassionate way to deal with children, with students who are dealing with gender dysphoria,” says Langhofer.
“Children who struggle with gender dysphoria should be given the best care we can provide, but this can only be accomplished when school polices reflect reality – not when they’re based on contested science. And these policies are just promoting a certain ideology in trying to punish anyone who dissents from that ideology.”
Cross v. Loudoun County School Board is filed in the Circuit Court for the County of Loudoun. Tanner Cross is a Christian P.E. teacher in Loudoun County who was suspended in June for refusing to lie to children about their sexuality. He has since been reinstated.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.