Two Virginia public school teachers are suing their school district over a new transgender policy that requires employees to use the chosen pronouns and names of students who identify as transgender.
The policy was adopted by the Loudoun County School Board last week and applies to teachers and students. Under the policy, all employees and students must use the “chosen name and gender pronouns” of students, even if it conflicts with their biological sex. The new policy also allows students who identify as transgender to use their preferred restroom and locker room.
“Plaintiffs believe, based on scientific evidence, that children do not have a fully developed capacity to understand the long-term consequences of their decisions,” the complaint, filed in Virginia state court, says. “Plaintiffs want to protect children from making potentially irreversible and life-changing decisions that they may later regret.”
The two teachers are Loudoun County High School history teacher Monica Gill and Smart’s Mill Middle School English teacher Kim Wright. Both are seeking to join a lawsuit filed in June by Tanner Cross, a Leesburg Elementary School teacher who was suspended for speaking out against the policy. All three are professing Christians.
They are represented by Alliance Defending Freedom.
“Teachers shouldn’t be forced to promote ideologies that are harmful to their students and that they believe are false,” said ADF senior counsel Tyson Langhofer. “Loudoun County Public Schools is now requiring all teachers and students to deny truths about what it means to be male and female and is compelling them to call students by their chosen pronouns or face punishment.
“Public employees,” Langhofer added, “cannot be forced to contradict their core beliefs just to keep a job. Freedom – of speech and religious exercise – includes the freedom not to speak messages against our core beliefs.”
If the teachers were to be forced to follow the new policy, they would be communicating “a message they believe is false – that gender identity, rather than biological reality, fundamentally shapes and defines who we truly are as humans, that our sex can change, and that a woman who identifies as a man really is a man, and vice versa,” the complaint says.
Further, the teachers argue, children should not be encouraged to “undertake social or medical transition” because of their inability to assess long-term consequences of such treatments as puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy and sex-reassignment surgery.
“Administering treatment for gender dysphoria in lieu of diagnosis and treatment of other mental health conditions is harmful to children with such conditions, especially if the child is in the statistical majority of cases where the gender dysphoria will desist,” the complaint says.
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.