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Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The Virginia Supreme Court this week upheld a lower court's ruling that reinstated a Loudoun County teacher who was suspended for refusing to use the preferred names and pronouns of transgender students.

The big picture: The judges were sympathetic Monday to physical education teacher Tanner Cross, who cited religious opposition to drafted school policy requiring staffers to use students' chosen names and pronouns.

Catch up quick: In May, Loudoun County Public Schools put Cross on paid leave after he voiced opposition to the policy at a school board meeting. Cross sued the district, arguing that it violated his rights to free speech and religious freedom.

  • In June, a circuit judge found that the school district had taken "an unconstitutional action" and that Cross should be immediately reinstated while the legal case continued. Loudoun County appealed to the state's highest court.

Worth noting: Cross' suit was brought by lawyers with the conservative advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, which pursues lawsuits that challenge the rights of transgender people.

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Parkland shooting victims' families settle suit with school district

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2020. Photo: Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Families and survivors of a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, reached a $25 million settlement in their lawsuit against the Broward County school district Monday, per the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Why it matters: The deal was reached in the suit over the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the school district won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped damages at $300,000 in total without approval from the state legislature, AP notes.

White House blasts Texas bill targeting trans youth in sports as "hateful"

LGBTQ rights supporters gather at the Texas State Capitol to protest state Republican-led efforts to pass legislation that would restrict the participation of transgender student athletes. Photo: Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

A White House spokesperson on Tuesday condemned a Texas bill that would force public school students to play on sports teams based on their assigned sex at birth, telling the Dallas Morning News the legislation is "hateful."

Why it matters: If passed, Texas would become the 10th state in the country to enact legislation banning transgender kids from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity, per NBC News.

Updated 37 mins ago - Health

COVID cases and deaths keep falling

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

America’s coronavirus outbreak is rapidly improving as the Delta wave recedes, and vaccines for kids — which could become available within weeks — will help the situation improve even further.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day — a 22% drop over the past two weeks.

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