The United Kingdom government has permanently banned a mathematics teacher from teaching after finding him “guilty” of “misgendering” a student and expressing Christian views in class, Fox News reports.
Joshua Sutcliffe, 32, was found guilty of “unacceptable professional conduct” and “bringing the teaching profession into disrepute” following a review by the Department of Education’s Teaching Regulation Agency (“TRA”).
Sutcliffe said that the school administration placed him on leave after he congratulated two students, both biological females, for their exceptional work in solving a math problem in class.
He recalled saying, “Well done, girls!” to the two students, but to his dismay, one of them reportedly does not identify as a female.
“And that in her mind was a misgendering,” Sutcliffe told Fox News.
The student’s parents complained to the school about the alleged misgendering which resulted in Sutcliffe being placed on leave for one week. He said that the school then forced him to give a press brief and apologize for “misgendering” the student, while he thought the issue would be better served by a discussion between the girl’s parents, the network reports.
Sutcliffe filed a lawsuit against the school after being dismissed; it was later settled in court.
The mathematics teacher, who says he is a staunch Christian, transferred to a Catholic school in north London the next year, where he found himself to be in more controversies surrounding the growing gender-identity movement.
According to Fox News, Sutcliffe showed a PragerU video to his class which featured conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey discussing masculinity. He denies showing this video in class and said that he recommended it to students to watch at home on their own accord.
A student brought the allegations that he showed the video in class to the TRA panel, which ruled that Sutcliffe “failed to consider the potential adverse effect on these pupils, and that in doing so, he had acted unprofessionally.”
Furthermore, the panel found Sutcliffe “guilty” for other incidents, including discussing the Christian view on gay marriage and Islam.
However, Sutcliffe told Fox News that he made these comments about Biblical marriage during a campus Bible club meeting.
Because of these incidents, the UK Department of Education permanently banned Sutcliffe from teaching, a decision that he says he will appeal in court.
Sutcliffe told Fox News that teachers in the United Kingdom are only allowed to have “one view” on gender and sexuality.
“And, obviously, if you don’t conform to that, then, you know, look what happens,” he said.
The UK government pressures dissenters on issues surrounding gender to stay silent, Sutcliffe said. “There’s really just one view allowed, and it’s certainly not a Christian view.”
The Christian Legal Centre, an advocacy group supporting Sutcliffe, believes that the UK High Court will ultimately decide to uphold religious freedom and Sutcliffe will be reinstated.
However, the group also warns that the TRA’s ruling sets a dangerous precedent by intimidating teachers with fear for expressing their beliefs, the outlet reports.
“This ruling sends a clear message that Christian teachers can no longer express their beliefs in the teaching profession. If you are, you will be hounded out and barred from being in the classroom,” CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, Andrea Williams, said in a press release. “The TRA has targeted an exceptional teacher because his Christian beliefs do not fall in line with the prevailing secular orthodoxy which will not tolerate any dissent.”
“For loving Jesus, speaking truth in his personal time, and responding to questions from students on the Christian faith, he has been hounded out of the teaching profession. Joshua will appeal, and we will stand with him for as long as it takes to get justice,” she continued.
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