Loudoun County High School teacher Monica Gill told the Todd Starnes Show why she decided to join a lawsuit against her school district for pushing CRT and radical gender ideology.
Gill, who teaches U.S. history and AP government, told host Todd Starnes she is not just doing it for her First Amendment rights but most importantly, for the students.
She was joined by Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Ryan Bangert at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Convention this week in Nashville, Tenn.
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The following is a rush transcript of the Todd Starnes Radio Show, heard daily 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. eastern. Click here to sign up for Todd’s daily newsletter – the only way to avoid censorship of conservative news!
Starnes: [01:56:35] I want to welcome some great guests to the program. We’ve been following the Loudon County School Board case. Alliance Defending Freedom has been all over this story, and we’re so excited to have Monica Gill and Ryan Bangert with us. Guys, welcome to the show. [01:56:51][16.0]
Gill: [01:56:51] Thank you so much. [01:56:52][0.5]
Starnes: [01:56:52] And how is it again being around so many people of faith? This has to be when your fight out there, fighting the fight in the trenches has got to be good to come here. It’s like a great big USO show. [01:57:03][11.1]
Gill: [01:57:04] It is beautiful to be here to see all of these brothers and sisters in Christ and really to be infused with such encouragement in the midst of what can be a really daunting battle. [01:57:13][8.6]
Starnes: [01:57:13] So Monica, pursuing the school board over a policy there in Leon County that forces teachers to use pronouns that might be inconsistent, that’s got to be a tough spot for you, for a lot of the teachers in the school system. Give us a little bit of a backstory. [01:57:28][14.5]
Gill: [01:57:29] Yeah. So I started to become really concerned about our school district a couple of years ago. But until then, I just loved teaching so much. I teach U.S. history and AP government and it’s been wonderful and I love my kids. But a couple of years I started to notice a real turn in the culture of our school board, and they started pushing ideology rather than education. They were pushing it through their equity, diversity and Inclusion Initiative, which we all know now, is code for critical race theory and very radical gender ideology. And the rubber really kind of hit the road for me and impacted me personally when they passed this policy. Essentially, as you said, saying that I must refer to any student using and affirm any gender that they choose. And this is just untenable. I mean, it is lying to students. It is not true. It’s not conversant with reality or with biology. And so I knew Tanner Cross and I’m sure that everybody knows his name. He was the first one to really speak out against this at our school board meeting. [01:58:31][62.1]
Starnes: [01:58:32] Let me let me stop you there when you saw Tanner speaking out. What was going through your mind at that point? [01:58:36][4.6]
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Gill: [01:58:37] I just thought, Wow, you know, he is so brave and we were friends before this, and he had contacted me and said, I’m going to speak out against this policy at the school board meeting. And sure enough, he did, and he just spoke so eloquently to say, ‘Hey, look, I love my kids, I’m not going to lie to students.’ And then they put him on leave, which, you know, that’s a scary thing for teachers who agree with him. And so we’ve had a lot of quiet support, but they saw what they did to Tanner and, you know, they’re afraid to speak up. [01:59:06][29.2]
Starnes: [01:59:07] So, Ryan, now you guys are involved, Alliance Defending Freedom. This has to be so encouraging to you to see teachers that are willing to take a stand in the public schools. [01:59:17][9.6]
Bangert: [01:59:18] Absolutely. The situation will not turn itself around unless people have courage. People like Monica, people like Tanner, people like him, right? Take a stand and tell the school that these school districts, ‘No, we do have a First Amendment right. We do have a constitutional right to speak freely and not to be forced and compelled to violate our conscience. And without that courageous stand, nothing is going to change. [01:59:43][25.0]
Starnes: [01:59:43] I’m curious. After Tanner took a stand, after Monica took a stand, are you hearing from other teachers that are sharing their concerns, not necessarily just in Loudoun County, but around America? [01:59:55][11.7]
Bangert: [01:59:56] We have and this trend that you’ve seen in Loudoun County. Loudoun County is the epicenter. Yeah, of this, but it’s certainly not the only place where it’s happening. And this effort by the educational establishment to impose critical ideology, gender ideology, race ideology is happening all over the country. [02:00:15][18.7]
Starnes: [02:00:16] You know, Monica, to that point, what about moms and dads? Have you been hearing from parents who were saying, ‘Hey, thank thank you for standing up for common sense?’. [02:00:24][8.5]
Gill: [02:00:25] Absolutely. So I think, you know, it has been wonderfully encouraging to have fellow teachers, you know, say, ‘Thank you for standing up. We don’t feel like we can,’ but even more so coming from parents who have said, ‘Thank you so much for doing the right thing,’ but I think for me, the the real encouragement comes from the students who come to me and say, ‘Thank you for taking a stand for us.'”. [02:00:45][20.2]
Starnes: [02:00:45] Really? [02:00:45][0.0]
Gill: [02:00:46] Absolutely. And I think that what’s so important about that is that they realize that this isn’t just about Mrs. Gill’s free speech rights or her religious conviction, this is about their generation, and they are seeing their generation be torn apart by these horrible ideologies. They see their peers suffering like no other generation from mental health issues, including gender dysphoria. And so they know this is bigger than just a free speech issue or a religious conviction issue, it’s about them. [02:01:12][26.4]
Starnes: [02:01:13] And you know, Ryan and I don’t want to get too far off the rails here. But to that point, when you look at what’s happening in the world of collegiate sports with with the situation at the University of Pennsylvania, the other story that’s really not getting a lot of coverage is that most of these girls on that team are terrified to speak out. It’s almost as if they’ve been bullied into silence here, and they just have to accept things for what they are. [02:01:36][23.0]
Bangert: [02:01:37] That’s right, there is a real disconnect between the establishment, between the elites who are pushing these ideas and these ideologies and front line teachers, front line athletes, people who are bearing the consequences of these ideas and who see the real harm that’s inflicted. Look at the National School Board Association letter that was sent to the White House that resulted in Attorney General Merrick Garland literally targeting parents who were simply speaking up for their rights and for the well-being of their kids. That’s just an incredible example of this disconnect between those who are pushing this ideology and the vast majority who are suffering its consequences. [02:02:15][38.5]
Starnes: [02:02:16] Ryan Bangert with Alliance Defending Freedom. Monica Gill, Monica, you had to make a personal decision here. I mean, this was your consider the cost moment. Take us through that. We’ve just got about a minute or so, but take us through that decision making process. [02:02:31][15.3]
Gill: [02:02:32] Well, you know, it was really after Tanner took his stand and watching him take all of the slings and arrows that I just said he can’t stand alone. And often this just looks like really daunting and discouraging. But I’ve had a lot of encouragement from the Lord. In one such case, it was the beginning of the school year. I was feeling very discouraged. I was talking to the Lord just saying, I don’t want to do this anymore. I just can’t. It’s too heartbreaking. And as I was cleaning out my new classroom, I found this book, kind of stuffed and the shelf, and I picked it up and dusted it off and the cover said, Holy Bible. And I thought, My goodness, what are you doing here? And I opened it up and it said, presented to Loudoun County High School from the graduating class of 1955. [02:03:15][42.9]
Starnes: [02:03:16] Wow. [02:03:16][0.0]
Gill: [02:03:17] And I thought, Wow, you know, I immediately got, you know, cynical and thought, well, you’d never see this today, but God just got a hold of my heart. And he just said, Monica, I didn’t give you this gift for you to judge this place. I gave you this gift so you would know I have not abandoned this place and you’re here for such a time as this. Be my salt, be my light. Go and stand for truth. Stay here for me. And so that’s what I just continue to do. [02:03:40][22.8]
Starnes: [02:03:40] And that is really the point of this gathering here in Nashville for us to mobilize, to stand together, to encourage each other and to know that we’re not in this fight alone. And we’ve got everybody’s backs here. We’ve got ten seconds where Ryan, where can people go if they want to get more information about Alliance Defending Freedom and support the great causes y’all are fighting for? [02:03:59][18.9]
Bangert: [02:04:00] Our website ADFlegal.org. [02:04:04][4.0]
[02:04:04] All right, and we’ve got a direct link on our website, the live show blog. Monica Gill, thank you for that beautiful testimony. And Ryan, thank you for fighting the good fight in the legal system. [02:04:15][10.9]