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Photo: Ina Fassbender AFP via Getty Images

A Virginia school district is appealing a ruling that reinstated a suspended teacher who said he would refuse to use the current names and pronouns of transgender students, NBC News reports.

The big picture: 20th Circuit Judge James E. Plowman Jr. previously found that the Loudoun County Public Schools system had taken "an unconstitutional action" in suspending teacher Byron "Tanner" Cross for stating his opposition to the pronoun policy at the school.

  • The Alliance Defending Freedom, whose attorneys are representing Cross, said "there is no reason" for the state Supreme Court to take the appeal, per NBC News.
  • Cross, a phsyical education teacher, was suspended after saying at a school board meeting in late May that he would never “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa," citing his Christian faith.

What they're saying: “The school district wants to force Tanner to endorse its ideals and shut down any opposing views," said ADF senior attorney Tyson Langhofer, per NBC News.

  • "That violates the Constitution and laws of Virginia, and so did the school’s move to place Tanner on leave,” he added.
  • A school district spokesperson said on Thursday they're appealing the court's decision to the Virginia Supreme Court but said he could not comment further on pending litigation, per NBC News.

Go deeper

Appeals court denies DOJ's request to suspend Texas abortion ban

People protesting Texas' abortion ban outside of the Texas State Capitol in Austin on Oct. 2. Photo: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

A three-judge panel for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday denied the Department of Justice's emergency request to suspend Texas' abortion ban, which bars the procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected, or roughly six weeks — before many people know they are pregnant.

Why it matters: The ruling allows the ban to continue to be enforced as the courts consider the law's constitutionality. It's one of the most restrictive bans to be enforced since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

Poll shows eroding school satisfaction

Note: Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number; Data: Nashville Public Education Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

The Nashville Public Education Foundation released on Thursday a new poll showing deepening dissatisfaction with public schools during the pandemic.

Why it matters: Nearly half of the 500 voters polled in September said they thought Metro Nashville Public Schools had gotten worse over the last five years.

2 hours ago - World

Report: LGBTQ+ Afghans' lives "dramatically worsened" under Taliban rule

Taliban fighters in Kabul, Afghanistan, earlier this month. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images

LGBTQ+ Afghans have been threatened, attacked and "faced an increasingly desperate situation and grave threats to their safety" since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last August, per a report published Wednesday.

What they're saying: "We spoke with LGBT Afghans who have survived gang rape, mob attacks, or have been hunted by their own family members who joined the Taliban, and they have no hope that state institutions will protect them," per a statement from study co-author J. Lester Feder.