LEESBURG, Va. (WDVM) — Leesburg elementary teacher Byron Tanner Cross was placed on administrative leave after a statement he made to the school board regarding teaching and gender.

“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,” Cross reportedly told the school board.

School officials have not specified that Cross was placed on administrative leave because of his comment, but the Alliance for Defending Freedom, a Christian nonprofit group, is demanding answers for Cross and sent a letter to the school district on Friday.

Tyson Langhofer, senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, said, “He has a great year with his students. He wants to finish it out, and if he was to take action, it will be fairly soon so that the court can grant him release so he can finish out the school year with the kids.”

Citing a letter from the organization to LCPS, Langhofer said they indicated that Cross could pursue other legal options if he’s not reinstated. School officials sent a letter to Cross, but did not tell him if he is or not coming back.

Officials tell WDVM they do see this being a successful case because of freedom of speech.