A Virginia teacher who was suspended by the Loudoun County Public Schools for failing to address students by their preferred pronoun got massive support during a raucous meeting of the board on Tuesday.
Several people who addressed the board did so in dramatic fashion, railing at various issues that mostly involved support for teacher Tanner Cross, a gym teacher who was recently ordered reinstated by a court, and pushback on the teaching of Marxist-themed critical race theory, according to reports.
“Where is your regard for our freedom of speech?” parent Rachel Pisani, who identified herself as a mother of three in the county, demanded to know.
“When I saw a teacher express an opinion and suspended for expressing his religious beliefs, I could no longer stay silent,” she continued. “When did it become acceptable to be tolerant only when someone expresses a view that we agree with? When did it become appropriate to silence those that hold Christian, biblical views just because you don’t?
“When did it become appropriate to allow the school board – I don’t know who you think you are – but it is not appropriate, it is not allowable to silence, bully, or dismiss our views,” she added.
Eventually, her mic was cut off because her time had run out, but Pisani kept speaking and was given a rousing round of applause by meeting attendees, ignoring board chair Brenda Sheridan’s directive for them to use jazz hands instead.
After Pisani’s speech, Sheridan sought a recess and instructed the audience to find “decorum” before resuming the meeting. But members of the audience continued to ignore her requests, which prompted Sheridan to issue several reminders and only served to ratchet up tension during the meeting.
At one point, another woman told board members of their treatment of Cross, “Even being threatened with termination for simply speaking one’s opinion creates a culture of fear and silence – and this does not help anyone on either side of the aisle.”
A teacher named Monica Gill, meanwhile, said that the board’s suspension of Cross was akin to “totalitarianism, not the Constitution,” adding that, “first and foremost, I am a Christian.”
“What is most important? We live in truth, not lies. We look at character, not skin color. We love our Lord and we love others. Know this – We will not yield. We will not let you have our souls or the souls of our children,” Gill said.
Cross was suspended late last month for refusing to call students by their preferred pronouns, telling the Loudoun County board he felt it was “abusive” to kids to use pronouns that did not match their biological gender.
“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,” he added.
“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. It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God,” he continued.
A Fairfax County teacher, Lilit Vanetsyan, also addressed the board while also telling both parents and students to push back on Marxist-socialist curriculum that teaches kids to look down upon or mistrust others based on their skin color.
Here is an American hero. This brave teacher is everything true patriotism stands for. Of course they cut her microphone, because the cowards of the left can’t weather free speech. #AmericanHero #LoudounCounty pic.twitter.com/AmswrN1gJz
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) June 10, 2021
“Parents, the longer that you wait and don’t have your child’s schools accountable, gives these guys more time to dictate what’s best for your child’s physical, mental, and emotional health,” she told audience members while pointing at the board.
“Students, you are on the front lines of these indoctrination camps. Challenge the staff when you are presented with a ludicrous statement, and do not allow anybody to tell you that you cannot accomplish anything because of your skin color, or to hate yourself because of your skin color,” Vanetsyan added. “Students, it is up to you to be the next generation of victims or victors.”
In conclusion, Vanetsyan said,, “And finally, to the board, this isn’t over. And your policies are just as -” before someone cut off her mic.
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