Teachers Ask Court To Halt Va. School District Policy Forcing Them To Use Trans Pronouns
Aug 20, 2021
A pair of teachers are seeking to take a Virginia school district to court over a newly passed policy requiring, among other things, that staff uses the preferred names and pronouns of trans-identified students.
Loudoun County High School history teacher Monica Gill and Smart’s Mill Middle School English teacher Kim Wright filed an amended complaint to block the new policy passed last week by the Loudoun County School Board.
By a vote of 7-2, the board passed Policy 8040: Rights of Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students last week despite considerable opposition to the proposal from some teachers and parents.
Gill and Wright propose to be added to a pre-existing legal challenge over the school district's treatment of Leesburg Elementary School teacher Bryon Tanner Cross, who was placed on leave after voicing his displeasure with the policy proposal during a school board meeting.
Filed Monday, the amended complaint argues that Cross, Gill and Wright oppose the new policy because they believe it “communicates that gender identity, rather than biological reality, fundamentally shapes and defines who we truly are as humans, that our sex can change, and that a woman who identifies as a man really is a man.”
The complaint further alleges that if the teachers were to comply with the policy, "they would be forced to communicate a message they believe is false."
"[I]f they refer to students based on their biological sex, they communicate the views they actually believe — that our sex shapes who we are as humans, that this sex is fixed in each person, and that it cannot be changed, regardless of our feelings or desires," the amended complaint states.
The legal filing adds that the school district has "refused to find middle ground" and "made this case about far more than titles or pronouns."
"[T]hey have taken a side in a national debate over competing views of human nature and compelled conformity to, and support for, only one view," the complaint charges. "Under the timeless free speech principles enshrined in the Virginia Constitution and laws, Defendants cannot compel one side to voice the other’s beliefs."