UNCANCELLED: Judge Orders Gym Teacher Reinstated After Suspension Over Transgender Pronouns
This is an interesting test of safetyism and cancel culture. And there have been vanishingly few of those tests.
Byron Tanner Cross, a gym teacher, spoke out against being forced to use transgender pronouns at a school board meeting.
“60 Minutes, this past Sunday, interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned. But they felt led astray because lack of pushback, or how easy it was to make physical changes to their bodies in just 3 months. They are now de-transitioning. It is not my intention to hurt anyone. But there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies like 8040 and 8035 because it will damage children, 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 is against my religion. It’s lying to a child. It’s abuse to a child. And it’s sinning against our God.”
The school suspended him, claiming, "allegations that you engaged in conduct that has had a disruptive impact on the operations of Leesburg Elementary School."
In court, school officials argued that Cross' comments were endangering students, and the judge shot down the argument.
Judge James E. Plowman agreed with Cross' Alliance Defending Freedom counsel that it was a religious freedom and free speech case.
By barring Cross from school property, the system was not only preventing him from functioning as a teacher, but from being able to take place in school meetings.
That conveniently silenced him.
There was also no actual disruption evident.
An actual trial however could still happen and the key weakness of the cancel crackdown here lay in two areas.
1. The safetyism argument claimed disruption, but failed to substantiate it. That's just an invite to up the heckler's veto next time around with either fake death threats and hate crimes, or just student protests and walkouts.
2. The school overshot itself by suspending Cross for comments he made in a public forum as a private citizen, rather than a school setting. What happens if Cross actually refuses to go along as a teacher may be another story.
But that's no doubt why the ADF took this case. The other side's case is weak. And it creates at least a limited precedent against safetyism.