The proposed policies would require that students be addressed by their preferred gender pronouns, rather than the pronouns corresponding with their biological sex.
In its decision to suspend Cross, the school district cited “allegations that [Cross] engaged in conduct that had a disruptive impact on the operations of Leesburg Elementary School.”
Cross was forbidden from accessing school property and attending school-sponsored events.
The school district cited six emails from five families of students asking that their children not be taught by Cross, as evidence for his disruption to school operations.
Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit on behalf of Cross, saying that the district engaged in “viewpoint-based retaliation” in suspending him. Cross’ opinions were based upon his “sincerely held religious beliefs” about gender, the lawsuit stated.
The court found last month that, in balancing Cross’ free speech rights with the school board’s claims that his speech was disruptive, Cross’ interests outweighed the board’s. Cross’ “speech and religious content” were “central” to his suspension, the court ruled.