Tanner Cross, a gym teacher at Leesburg Elementary School in Loudon County, Virginia, delivered an explosive speech on Tuesday about how the school board couldn't force him to tell his students that a biological boy could be a girl, or vice versa. He has now been placed on leave.
"I'm contacting you to let you know that one of our physical education teachers, Tanner Cross, is on leave beginning this morning. In his absence, his duties will be covered by substitute staff already working in our building," said Shawn Lacey, the school's principal, in an email sent on Thursday.
Fox News had obtained the email via the group Parents Against Critical Theory.
According to Fox News, Cross stood up before the school board and said:
"My name is Tanner Cross and I am speaking out of love for those who are suffering from gender dysphoria." Cross referenced the 60 Minutes episode that interviewed over 30 young people who transitioned but felt led astray because of lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes.
"It's not my intention to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths that we must face when ready. We condemn school policies [that] would damage children, defile the holy image of God," declared Cross.
"I love all of my students but I will never lie to them regardless of the consequences. I'm a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it's against my religion," he said.
"It's lying to a child, it's abuse to a child, and it's sinning against our God," he fired. The school refused to give further information as to the reason for Cross's leave.