A teacher is suing his secondary school after being sacked for calling a transgender boy a ‘girl’.
Joshua Sutcliffe, who worked at the school for two years, claimed he misgendered the pupil by accident, and was shocked when the boy’s parents complained.
Documents seen at the time showed that he had also referred to him using the feminine pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’ on other occasions.
The 27-year-old Christian claimed he said ‘well done girls’ to the trans teenager and a female friend when he spotted them working hard, but apologised after being corrected.
Sutcliffe later told senior staff that he didn’t think it was wrong to call a trans boy a girl, but claimed he did not use the term on purpose because he is a professional.
He added that it was a breach of his human rights to force him to use the boy’s preferred pronouns.
In a statement released by the Christian Legal Centre on Sunday, the religious lobby group claimed Sutcliffe hadn’t received formal training on how to refer to the pupil – and referred to being transgender as a ‘delusion’.
‘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”.’
Sutcliffe was sacked from his job as a maths teacher, which he had done while also working as a pastor at an evangelical church in Oxford.
He sent a letter to the school’s head teacher, calling their equality policies ‘totalitarian’.
‘I regret that our relations have reached this point, but I feel I have no choice but to bring legal proceedings against you without further notice,’ Sutcliffe added.
Earlier this year a Christian couple came under fire for pulling their children out of school because one of their classmates was transgender.
Mienna Jones, a mother whose young son is trans, told Metro.co.uk: ‘They are using religion as an excuse, in my opinion, to say “this goes against my Christian values”.
‘But that’s not what Christianity is about – Christianity isn’t about excluding anybody.’
‘You don’t choose to be transgender,’ Mienna added. ‘You just are.’
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