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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

Sep 14, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Johnston school district warns of "more sophisticated" hacking attempts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Johnston's school district is still the target of hacking attempts four years after an international hacker group known as The Dark Overlord leaked student data and texted death threats to parents, school spokesperson Laura Sprague told Axios.

What's happening: Johnston recently avoided another security breach, but attack attempts "are getting more sophisticated by the day," Sprague said.

  • She said hackers have imitated emails of multiple school executives, including herself, in attempts to con people out of money. Some even include school logos and headers, making them harder to distinguish as fake.

Why it matters: Ransomware cyberattacks are on the rise across the U.S., threatening our food supplies, health care and national security.

  • Schools can expect to face increasing threats, as the rush to move learning online left many security systems vulnerable to attacks, Politico reports.
Sep 14, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Behind Minneapolis Public Schools' surveillance program

Data: Minneapolis Public Schools. Illustration courtesy of The 74

A surveillance program that Minneapolis Public Schools set up when the pandemic hit is sticking around this fall, even as students are back in classrooms. And some are concerned about it.

Driving the news: Axios Twin Cities education news partner The 74 dug into 1,300 records tied to MPS' use of Gaggle, which monitors students' computers, through artificial intelligence, and alerts district officials when they might be suicidal, violent or watching pornography.

"Justice for J6" rally underway with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

Demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday ahead of the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

Driving the news: About an hour before the rally was set to begin, media and police officers — from the U.S. Capitol Police and D.C.'s police department — vastly outnumbered the demonstrators in attendance, according to reporters at the event.