A maths teacher who teaches maths at a secondary school in Oxfordshire has been suspended and could face the sack after he ‘accidentally’ called a transgender pupil a ‘girl’ in class when the student identifies as a boy.
Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, said ‘Well done girls’ to the teenager and a friend when he spotted them working hard.
He apologised when corrected by the pupil, but six weeks later he was suspended from teaching after the pupil’s mother lodged a complaint.
He was told to come to the school and sit in the staff room preparing work, but he was not allowed to discuss the situation with colleagues.
He later discovered that the pupil’s family had claimed he had not only ‘misgendered’ the pupil but had unfairly given the pupil a disproportionate number of detentions for poor behaviour, though this later claim was not upheld during the investigation.
Mr Sutcliffe said: ‘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.
‘I said it was only one incident for which I had apologised, but he insisted the investigation would go ahead.
‘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, Leftish agenda.’
Joshua Sutcliffe says he is shocked and saddened by the school’s action which reflected an increasing trend of Christians being marginalised in the public square, and unpopular beliefs silenced.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is supporting Mr Sutcliffe, added: ‘This is one of a large number of cases we are encountering where teachers are finding themselves silenced or punished if they refuse to fall in line with the current transgender fad.’
The head said it would not be appropriate to comment on confidential staff disciplinary matters.