Teacher who was fired for ‘misgendering’ a student slaps school with lawsuit

DCNFGrace Carr, DCNF

Screengrab-Joshua Sutcliffe

A teacher who was fired for calling a transgender student by her biological gender hit back at the school with a lawsuit.

After math teacher Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, allegedly said “well done girls” to two students at an Oxfordshire secondary school in England, the school suspended him and called for a disciplinary hearing. He apologized to the student, but he was charged with misconduct for “misgendering,” according to the Evening Standard.

Not long after, Sutcliffe was fired from his teaching post and he responded by sending a letter to the school saying that it’s equality policies are “totalitarian,” Metro reports. “I regret that our relations have reached this point, but I feel I have no choice but to bring legal proceedings against you without further notice,” Sutcliffe wrote in his letter.

“While the suggestion that gender is fluid conflicts sharply with my Christian beliefs… I have never looked to impose my convictions on others,” Sutcliffe, who is also a Christian pastor, said the school initially suspended him for six weeks, according to BBC News. He also thinks referring to someone by their birth gender isn’t wrong or unreasonable, according to the Daily Mail.

More than 2,000 children aged three to 18 in the U.K. were referred to a gender identity specialist last year, BBC reports.

The teacher’s firing and sequential lawsuit comes after similar events in the U.S. An 8-year-old transgender student and his parents recently sued a California school for failing to let him express his identity as a girl and another set of parents filed a lawsuit against a school in New York, alleging the school created a hostile environment for their five-year-old kid, according to The New York Times.

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