A Christian teacher at a British high school is in trouble with officials for “misgendering” one of his students.
Joshua Sutcliffe of Oxfordshire secondary school faces disciplinary action by his employer over a Nov. 2 incident involving a math student. The suspended instructor, who also serves as a pastor at Christ Revelation church in Oxford, made a “slip of the tongue” and called a transgender boy as a girl.
“While the suggestion that gender is fluid conflicts sharply with my Christian beliefs … I have never looked to impose my convictions on others,” Mr. Sutcliffe said in response to the controversy, BBC reported Monday.
The teacher said that he tried to find a principled compromise in the past by referring to the student by name.
School officials told BBC that specifics on the matter could not be disclosed since it is considered confidential. The child involved is between 11 and 18 years old.
The Christian Legal Center, Mr. Sutcliffe’s representation, said an internal disciplinary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Mr. Sutcliffe’s case appears to validate warnings by Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, the University of Toronto professor and clinical psychologist who came under fire in 2016 for refusing to use genderless pronouns in his classroom.
The professor’s job was briefly in jeopardy after activists called him “transphobic” for his opposition to Canada’s proposed C-16 bill on gender identity issues.
“Facebook offers a choice of 58 [gender identities],” the professor wrote in an October 2016 op-ed for The Hill. “Is that not the instant reductio ad absurdum of the gender extremists’ claims? Are the denizens of New York now legally required to employ a new pronoun for each of these many identities? How are they supposed to keep track of who’s who? And who is going to distinguish between mistakes and criminal action or intent?”
He added that he is “willing to call someone ‘he’ or ‘she’ in accordance with their manner of self-presentation.”
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