Even though he issued a prompt apology, a math teacher was fired for saying “well done, girls” while talking to a transgender student at an Oxfordshire secondary school in England.
Considering the parents were the complainants, it’s very likely the girl has simply been forced to live as a boy.
Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, who worked at the school for two years, said “well done, girls” while praising two students in his class. Both students are biologically female, however, one of them claims to be male.
Although he apologized to the student after being corrected, the girl’s parents complained to the school.
Sutcliffe was placed under investigation and suspended from the school before he was eventually called for a disciplinary hearing, a decision which came as a surprise to the 27-year-old.
“I was absolutely shocked to be told by the head that I was under investigation. I didn’t know what was happening. It was surreal, Kafkaesque,” he told the Daily Mail. “I had always tried to respect the pupil and keep a professional attitude as well as my integrity, but it seemed to me that the school was trying to force me to adhere to its liberal, leftist agenda.”
“I have never been trained to deal with this sort of thing. I felt completely out of my depth and intimidated,” he added.
During the disciplinary hearing, Sutcliffe was charged with misconduct for “misgendering” the student, and “avoidance of using gendered pronouns,” which the school claims, “contravenes the school’s code of conduct with regard to demonstrating an awareness of [the] sexual and cultural diversity of students and use of insensitive comments towards young people.”
According to the math teacher, no official instructions on how to refer to the girl were given by the school, so he, like other teachers, chose to call the girl by name. He did admit that as a Christian, he avoided using the preferred pronouns of the child.
Sutcliffe’s faith was seemingly another target of the school.
The 27-year-old is also a pastor at an evangelical church in Oxford. He told the Daily Mail that several years ago he conducted a voluntary Bible club during lunchtimes at the school.
Earlier this year, after Sutcliffe answered a question on marriage by explaining that the Bible describes it to be between a man and a woman, the club was shut down due to complaints of homophobia.
“I have been shocked and saddened by the actions of the school, which, in my opinion, reflect an increasing trend of Christians being marginalized in the public square, and unpopular beliefs silenced,” Sutcliffe told the Daily Mail. “While the suggestion that gender is fluid conflicts sharply with my Christian beliefs, I recognize my responsibility as a teacher and Christian to treat each of my pupils with respect.”
“I have balanced these factors by using the pupil’s chosen name, and although I did not intentionally refer to the pupil as a “girl,” I do not believe it is unreasonable to call someone a girl if they were born a girl,” he added.
Not long after the incident, Sutcliffe was fired from his teaching position. He responded to the decision by sending a letter to his former employer stating its equality policies are “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 wrote in the letter, according to Metro.
The Christian Legal Centre rallied behind Sutcliffe in a statement released on Sunday.
“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 presence,” the statement read. “When the pupil became irate, Mr. Sutcliffe sought to diffuse the situation and apologized.”
“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,” the statement continued, according to Metro. “Following the week-long investigation, the school found Mr. Sutcliffe to have “misgendered” the pupil, “demonstrating discriminatory behaviors” and “contravened the school’s equality policy.'”
It seems Christian persecution spreads further than the Middle East.
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