A Christian teacher in England is being run out of his profession for accidentally misgendering a transgender student and having the nerve to answer a question honestly.
Joshua Sutcliffe, a 33-year-old former math teacher at a public secondary school, failed to treat a student “with dignity and respect.” That’s the word from the U.K.’s Teaching Regulation Authority (TRA), a governing body that oversees allegations of serious misconduct.
Sutcliffe’s unforgivable sin came when he addressed a group of students by saying, “well done, girls.” One of the students was a trangender biological female who now identifies as a male.
According to the Telegraph, the former teacher said he immediately recognized his mistake and apologized, but the damage was done.
This led to regulators declaring that Sutcliffe “failed to uphold Pupil A’s dignity and respect and failed to safeguard Pupil A’s wellbeing.” Pupil A, of course, is the transgender student.
The panel even wandered into presumptions. Because of the one misgendering incident, members declared that it was likely that Sutcliffe did not use Pupil A’s preferred pronoun on other occasions while teaching.
It was determined that the former teacher gave an honest answer when quizzed by a student over his views of gay marriage. Further, he commented to a class that “a growing problem in today’s society is that men are not masculine enough.”
He was also implicated for a television appearance in which he used a female pronoun to describe the student to the audience.
Sutcliffe said he is “devastated” by the governing body’s ruling and will appeal the decision. He reiterated his belief that using gender pronouns not aligned with the child’s birth gender is “psychologically damaging for them.”
He added that he refuses to act against his conscience.
The TRA’s Alan Meyrick explained the extreme step of banning Sutcliffe from the teaching profession. “In my view, it is necessary to impose a prohibition order in order to maintain public confidence in the profession.”
Teachers in the U.K. are currently waiting on clarification from the government concerning addressing transgender students in the classroom. It is widely expected that authorities will not require teachers to use students’ preferred pronouns.