Between COVID mandates and Democrat agendas pushed down the throats of everyone at even the local level, Conservatives have rediscovered their ability to speak out at the local level. Sometimes, it comes at a price.
When Byron Tanner Cross answered the call to stand up at the Townhall meeting and said in no uncertain terms both the scientific and conscience reasons he could not be a participant in pushing the latest round of Democrats’ gender agenda to elementary school kids, he lit the internet up…
It also cost him his job.
But he’s a fighter and took the school to court over being put on administrative leave.
Cross, a physical education teacher, filed a lawsuit against the school board last week claiming he is being punished for exercising his First Amendment rights. He went to court in Leesburg hoping to get a judge to lift his suspension while the suit is litigated.
During Friday’s hearing, an attorney for the school system said the principal at Leesburg Elementary School had to remove Cross from one of his jobs the next day because he feared backlash from parents, and over the course of 48 hours, five parents asked him to remove their child from Cross’ class.
…“Last Tuesday, I went to school board meeting and respectfully objected to two proposed policies,” Cross said at a rally after Friday’s hearing. “When I spoke, I was thinking about my values, my students, my parents and my fellow teachers. The truth is I’m not alone. Many of us are concerned that proposed policies would harm students and require us to violate our beliefs by saying things that are not true.”
…Cross told the school board last month he could not abide by a proposed policy that would violate his beliefs.
He was suspended 48 hours later and was told he had engaged in conduct that had disrupted the operations of Leesburg Elementary School where he teaches. — NBC
Unlike the NBC source, Breitbart went on to report the specific language of the court in his reinstatement:
Here, it is clear the Plaintiff was speaking as a citizen, not in his official capacity. His speech was not conducted at his usual place of employment, occurred during non-working hours and at a forum where public comment was invited. Plaintiff had to abide by the same process to speak as any other citizen. Although this was not formally conceded by the Defendants’, analysis of this was not argued.
It is further apparent that the subject matter upon which the Plaintiff spoke was one that can only be described as a “matter of public concern.” The enactment of a school policy as it relates to transgender issues, as well as the expected conduct of staff and students within the public school system, falls squarely within this scope. Additionally, Defendants referenced related school policies on this same subject matter as well as Virginia statutes and Federal law. Laws and policies enacted by elected legislators, by their very nature, invite political discourse. They are on their face, matters of public, political and societal interest.
Judge Plowman went on to say, “The Court finds that the Plaintiff’s speech and religious content are central to the determination made by the Defendants to suspend Plaintiff’s employment.” —Breitbart
Here is an interview in which Cross discusses his big win in court.
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