LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Loudoun County Public Schools announced on Friday that it will file an appeal of the Loudoun County Circuit Court regarding the reinstatement of a teacher following a gender issue.

Leesburg Elementary physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross was placed on leave after making a speech at a school board meeting saying he would not refer to transgender students by their chosen pronouns.

A judge ordered that Cross be reinstated on Tuesday, a decision that LCPS will be appealing.

A release from LCPS said, “While LCPS respects the rights of public-school employees to free speech and free exercise of religion, those rights do not outweigh the rights of students to be educated in a supportive and nurturing environment.”

Cross reportedly told the school board, “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.”