A Christian teacher is suing his secondary school after being suspended for referring to a biologically female pupil as a “girl”.
Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, from Oxford, argues that he was not trained in the new, quickly evolving, gender politics and should not be forced to accept transgender ideology as a Christian.
He says he was investigated and suspended after he said, “well done, girls” to a group of female pupils, including a pupil who “identified” as a boy.
The teacher says he apologised immediately after the incident, but documents seen at the time showed that he had also referred to the pupil with the feminine pronouns “she” and “her” on other occasions.
The Christian is now suing the school for constructive dismissal and discrimination.
Mr. Sutcliffe later told senior staff that he didn’t think it was wrong to call a biologically female pupil a girl, but insists he did not use the term on purpose because he is a professional.
Now, he is arguing that forcing him to abide by transgender ideology, despite his personal beliefs, has breached his rights.
In a letter to the head teacher, he wrote: “As a Christian, I do not share your belief in the ideology of transgenderism.
“I do not believe that young children should be encouraged to self-select a ‘gender’ which may be different from their biological sex.
“Or that everyone at school should adjust their behaviour to accommodate such a ‘transition’; or that people should be punished for lack of enthusiasm about it.”
A statement released by the Christian Legal Centre, who are representing him, explained that Mr. Sutcliffe hadn’t received formal training on transgender ideology.
“The child had self-declared as ‘male’, but Mr. Sutcliffe, who had been given no formal instruction on how he was to refer to the pupil, said ‘well done girls’ in her (sic.) presence,” the statement said.
“When the pupil became irate, Mr. Sutcliffe sought to diffuse the situation and apologised.
“Nonetheless an investigation began, during which time Mr. Sutcliffe was prevented from teaching and forced to spend all his time in isolation in the staff room.
“Following the week-long investigation, the school found Mr. Sutcliffe to have ‘misgendered’ the pupil, ‘demonstrating discriminatory behaviours’ and ‘contravened the school’s equality policy’.”