Members of an “anti-racist” Facebook group, including a member of the Loudoun County school board, secretly planned to get a gym teacher fired by disrupting “school activities,” according to screenshots obtained by Daily Caller.
The group, “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County,” targeted Leesburg Elementary School gym teacher Tanner Cross after he had publicly opposed a proposed policy regarding transgender students, these Facebook conversations shared with Daily Caller show. A court decision ordering Cross’s reinstatement after he sued with the assistance of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is currently being appealed by the Loudoun County school board.
An “action item” regarding Cross was posted in the group on June 1. In March, a post in this group calling for the creation of a list of parents opposed to the use of critical race theory in Loudoun County public schools with the intention to “expose these people publicly” came to light and triggered a recall campaign aimed at six members of the Loudoun County school board.
“Action item regarding Byron (Tanner) Cross, Leesburg ES,” the post began. “DISRUPTION OF SCHOOL ACTIVITIES due to his employment can help keep Cross on leave. This should take the form of phone calls and/or emails to Shawn Lacey, the principal of Leesburg ES.”
“Let’s keep the heat on to demonstrate that Cross’ behavior is not only contrary to district, state, and federal policy, but also unacceptable to our community,” the post said.
An earlier post had targeted Cross after he publicly spoke out against policy 8040 (with an accompanying regulation), which addresses the rights of transgender students, during the May 25 school board meeting.
On May 31, Beth Barts, a member of the Loudoun County school board, posted to the group but cited a different policy that prohibited “[d]emeaning or otherwise harmful actions” across a range of characteristics that included gender identity and gender expression, saying, “I want to remind the community that we already passed a policy referring to gender expression. We passed this policy months ago.”
Barts sent Loudoun County Public Schools superintendent Scott Ziegler an email on May 26 concerning the statement by Cross during the school board meeting. The Daily Caller obtained a number of emails sent to Loudoun County Public Schools officials regarding Cross. At least a dozen of those emails were from members of the secret Facebook group, according to a partial list of members obtained by the Daily Caller.
Prior to the case involving Tanner Cross, Kiara Jennings, the chairwoman of the Minority Students Achievement Advisory Committee (MSAAC), called for the firing of teachers opposed to critical race theory in March. That committee also said that opposition “can and will be silenced” on social media. In June, a draft policy circulated that was seen as targeting the First Amendment rights of teachers and staff who opposed either critical race theory or new policies regarding transgender students.
Critical race theory holds that America is fundamentally racist, yet it teaches people to view every social interaction and person in terms of race. Its adherents pursue “antiracism” through the end of merit, objective truth and the adoption of race-based policies.
The ADF did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.
HD Editor’s Note: Why Is This News BIblically Relevant?
Physical education teacher Byron Tanner Cross’ unwavering words during a school board meeting May 25 in Loudoun County, Virginia, earned him a temporary suspension from his job at Leesburg Elementary School and garnered national headlines.
“I’m a teacher, but I serve God first,” Cross told board members, “and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion. It’s lying to a child; it’s child abuse; and it’s sinning against our God.”
Judge James E. Plowman, of the 20th Judicial Circuit of Virginia, reinstated Cross’ employment on June 8 while his lawsuit against the school district continues. But Cross’ case exemplifies the larger cultural battle playing out in schools and corporate boardrooms, in secondary and college athletics, and even in some churches, over the most fundamental of human distinctions: male and female.
Plowman ruled the school board violated Cross’ constitutionally protected speech by placing him on administrative leave less than 48 hours after the teacher spoke against a proposed policy requiring teachers and students to use transgender-affirming language.
Franklin Graham, writing on Facebook the day of the judge’s ruling for Cross’ job reinstatement, said: “Continue to pray for Tanner and other teachers as an anti-Biblical agenda tries to push them to go against their faith and convictions. Praise God for Christian teachers!”
John Stonestreet, president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, said in his June 4 “Breakpoint This Week” podcast that for Cross’ comments to be considered “beyond the pale” by local school administrators means “Loudoun County is ground zero” for defending religious liberty and free speech.
“This is the time,” Stonestreet said. “There is not a future on this.”
Although transgender ideology is increasingly being imposed on society through President Joe Biden’s executive orders, retributive school board policies, academic indoctrination, corporate endorsements, pseudoscience-driven health care and propagandizing media, there also appears to be a mounting resistance—much like that of Tanner Cross—in defense of free speech, religious liberty, basic biology and fairness.