Christian teacher Joshua Sutcliffe has been banned from teaching in England following an unintentional misgendering incident and his personal views on gay marriage when questioned by a student.
A teacher has been banned from the profession for "misgendering" a pupil—Joshua Sutcliffe was ruled by the Teaching Regulation Authority to have failed to treat the pupil with "dignity and respect" when he praised a class by stating: "Well done, girls."https://t.co/AgFmlrF6V5
— The Free Speech Union (@SpeechUnion) May 23, 2023
The Teaching Regulation Authority, responsible for regulating teaching and handling serious misconduct, concluded that Sutcliffe, a 33-year-old former math teacher at a public secondary school in Oxford, failed to treat a student with “dignity and respect” by accidentally misgendering a female student who identified as male.
The Christian Legal Centre, representing Sutcliffe, confirmed the ban on Tuesday. The incident unfolded when Sutcliffe commended a group of students, inadvertently referring to them as “girls.” Recognizing his mistake, he promptly apologized.
In addition to the misgendering, the regulatory body determined Sutcliffe had also “failed to uphold Pupil A’s dignity and respect and failed to safeguard Pupil A’s wellbeing,” with Pupil A being the female student experiencing gender dysmorphia.
Considering Sutcliffe’s admission of not using the student’s preferred pronouns, the panel assumed “it was more probable than not that Mr. Sutcliffe had failed to use Pupil A’s preferred pronoun in the classroom during teaching on one or more occasions.”
Expressing his dismay, Sutcliffe vowed to appeal the ruling, stating, “Based on this ruling, every teacher is at risk if they share their beliefs and views in the classroom. If a teacher had shown or recommended a video from a liberal YouTube platform, would they have been treated as I have?”
While the panel acknowledged Sutcliffe’s honest expression of his views on gay marriage did not constitute a failure to safeguard students, they found he had somehow “failed to provide a balanced view or an opportunity for pupils to discuss any alternative views.”
Sutcliffe asserts he is the subject of focused attention due to his religious convictions. He contends how he finds perpetual satisfaction in mathematics, and teaching should serve as an embodiment of excellence that consistently showcases respect for all individuals.
He further expressed how crucial it is to recognize the accusations aren’t centered around his teaching abilities — but on his identity as a Christian. The panel’s final ruling banned Sutcliffe from teaching, however he retains the right to appeal the decision in 2025.