Cross v. Loudoun County School Board
Description: Loudoun County Public Schools officials suspended an elementary school teacher for voicing his objections to two proposed school policies during the public comment period of a school board meeting. The policies would force teachers to violate their beliefs by requiring them to address students with their chosen pronouns rather than the ones consistent with their biological sex.
Court halts Loudoun County Public Schools’ retaliation against teacher
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom President and CEO Michael Farris regarding the Loudoun County Circuit Court’s decision Tuesday in Cross v. Loudoun County School Board to halt Loudoun County Schools’ retaliation against Leesburg Elementary School teacher Tanner Cross for speaking against two proposed policies during the public comment period of a school board meeting:
“Nobody should be punished for expressing concern about a proposed government policy, especially when the government invites comment on that policy. For that reason, we are pleased at the court’s decision to halt Loudoun County Public Schools’ retaliation against Tanner Cross while his lawsuit continues. Educators are just like everybody else—they have ideas and opinions that they should be free to express. Advocating for solutions they believe in should not cost them their jobs. School officials singled out his speech, offered in his private capacity at a public meeting, as ‘disruptive’ and then suspended him for speaking his mind. That’s neither legal nor constitutional. Dozens of other teachers have shared their beliefs on various policies without retaliation; Tanner deserves to be treated with the same respect.”
The ADF Center for Academic Freedom is dedicated to ensuring freedom of speech and association for students and faculty so that everyone can freely participate in the marketplace of ideas without fear of government censorship.
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Michael P. Farris is president and CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom. Farris was founding president of both the Home School Legal Defense Association and Patrick Henry College and continues to serve as chairman of the board of HSLDA and chancellor emeritus of PHC. He graduated from Western Washington State College, magna cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, followed by a J.D. from Gonzaga University (with honors). At Gonzaga, he was articles editor of the Law Review, and winner of the Linden Cup Moot Court Competition. He also earned an LL.M. in Public International Law from the University of London. Farris has specialized in constitutional appellate litigation. In that capacity, he has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, eight federal circuit courts of appeals, and in the appellate courts of 13 states. He is also the author of numerous amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tyson C. Langhofer serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom and director of its Center for Academic Freedom. Before joining ADF, Langhofer was a partner with Stinson Leonard Street LLP, where he worked as a commercial litigation attorney for 15 years and earned Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® rating. Langhofer earned his Juris Doctor from Regent University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude in 1999. He obtained a B.A. in international business with a minor in economics from Wichita State University in 1996. A member of the bar in Virginia, Kansas, and Arizona, Langhofer is also admitted to practice in numerous federal district courts.