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UK teacher who was fired for misgendering transgender student sues Oxfordshire school

A teacher in England is suing the secondary school that fired him after he misidentified a transgender student. The teacher said it was merely a "slip of the tongue" on Nov. 2. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

A Christian teacher in England is suing the school that fired him for last month after he misidentified a transgender student.

On what grounds was the teacher fired?

The school says it takes discrimination seriously and found Joshua Sutcliffe to be “demonstrating discriminatory behaviors” and claimed that he “contravened the school’s equality policy," Metro reported.

What happened?

Sutcliffe told BBC News that it was merely a "slip of the tongue" on Nov. 2 when he said, "well done, girls" to two teenage students after he spotted them working hard.

One students identifies as a boy.

The student allegedly became irate, and Sutcliffe said he tried to diffuse the situation, though he'd received no formal training on how to refer to the transgender student, according to Christian Legal Centre in a statement released Sunday.

Sutcliffe said he apologized to the student who self-declared as a male, but officials at the Oxfordshire secondary school suspended the math teacher.

The teacher, who is also a pastor at Christ Revelation Church in Oxford, told The Daily Mail he usually avoids using gender-specific pronouns in the classroom as a way to balance his religious beliefs while showing sensitivity to the student.

The school placed Sutcliffe in isolation during a weeklong investigation. He was fired shortly after a disciplinary hearing.

How did Sutcliffe respond to being fired?

Sutcliffe told the Daily Mail teaching was his life and that he was "distraught" over his firing, calling the school's actions "political correctness gone mad."

The 27-year-old teacher sent a letter to the school's headmaster calling it’s equality policies “totalitarian."

Sutcliffe also said he doesn't believe he did anything wrong by calling the student by their birth gender.

On what basis is the teacher suing the school?

In the letter, Sutcliffe claims the school "systematically and maliciously” breached his rights and that he has "no choice but to bring legal proceedings against you without further notice.”

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