US school teacher Tanner Cross has had his reinstatement upheld, despite a challenge in court.
Cross was originally suspended for stating that he would “not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa”.
He fought the suspension and the judge ruled that he must be reinstated. The school went on to challenge the ruling but lost the case.
Loudoun County Public Schools failed to convince the Virginia Supreme Court that it had the right to suspend a teacher – and ban him from school board meetings – for publicly speaking against a proposed transgender pronoun mandate.
The high court upheld a circuit court ruling that reinstated Tanner Cross as his free speech lawsuit proceeds against the district. It cited recent First Amendment precedents from both the U.S. Supreme Court and the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which does not have jurisdiction over Virginia federal courts.
“[I]t is settled law that the government may not take adverse employment actions against its employees in reprisal for their exercising their right to speak on matters of public concern,” and the district doesn't dispute that Cross was speaking on an “issue of social, political, or other interest to a community,” the high court said.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, said the ruling was a “well-reasoned application of the fact to clearly established law”. Senior counsel Tyson Langhofer said teachers should not be “silenced for commenting at a public meeting.”
Binary spokeswoman, Kirralie Smith, said the ruling should give more teachers confidence to speak out.
“Trans extremists attempt to silence, censor and cancel their opponents at every turn,” she said.
“The law, and common sense, prove that people – whether employees, teachers, or parents – should have the right to voice their concerns.
“Reality matters, science matters, biology matters. Schools do not have the right to censor such views.”