Christian Teacher May Lose Job For Using The Wrong Noun
A Christian Teacher, Joshua Sutcliffe, in the U.K. is now at risk of losing his job for trying to give praise to students for doing good work. The Teacher who was reinforcing good behavior used the ‘wrong noun,’ when he accidentally referred to a trans-boy as a girl using the phrase “Well Done Girls” addressing a small group.
Sutcliffe, also a pastor at Christ Revelation Church, felt that using the pronouns him/he did not match up to his beliefs so he would instead only refer to the student by the first name. The student had been moved from another classroom to Sutcliffe’s math class where the student’s grades had significantly improved. The teacher believes it was just a “slip of the tongue” as he feels that teachers should “treat all students with respect.”
Sutcliffe, after being corrected by the student, immediately apologized but the student’s mother felt that his error was unacceptable and filed a formal complaint against him. The mother also feels that her child was being singled out because the student had received many detentions.
After the ‘incident’ an investigation took place, Sutcliffe was put on temporary suspension, which he was originally told should only take one day. Days later a disciplinary meeting is now scheduled where he is facing misconduct charges for ‘misgendering.’
The Christian teacher loves teaching and feels that this whole ‘incident’ is a case of “political correctness gone mad.”
It would be an issue if the teacher was bullying his students or intentionally calling his students rude names or mocking them. But in this case, the Teacher is only trying to praise his students and even apologized for his error. For some odd reason, an apology is not good enough and now a simple mistake may cost a man his livelihood.
Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday show the investigation also heard uncorroborated claims that Mr. Sutcliffe had made several other references to the pupil as a ‘girl’ and had inappropriately discussed religious issues in his maths lessons, which he denies.
He said he had raised religious issues such as the anniversary of the Reformation in his general tutor group, in which he encourages older pupils to discuss topical issues in the news, but not during maths classes.
Mr. Sutcliffe, a pastor at an evangelical church in Oxford, also said that several years ago he had started a voluntary Bible club during lunchtimes at the school which had been well attended.
But this had been shut down earlier this year after he had answered a student’s question on marriage by saying the Bible described it as being between a man and a woman, prompting a complaint about homophobia.
He said he had told senior staff carrying out the ‘misgender’ investigation that his private belief was that it was not wrong to call a person born a female a girl, but he would never do that publicly because he was a professional.
He added, however, that he did not feel that he should be made to use the pronouns ‘he’ or ‘him’ and that to force him to do so was a breach of his human rights.
The investigation concluded that the ‘misgendering’ of the pupil and ‘avoidance of using gendered pronouns contravenes the school’s code of conduct with regard to demonstrating an awareness of sexual and cultural diversity of students and use of insensitive comments towards young people’ and ‘the use of religious comments in maths lessons demonstrates a failure to comply with school policies.’
The assistant head leading the investigation recommended that both were matters of misconduct that should be dealt with under the disciplinary policy.
Mr. Sutcliffe said: ‘I have been shocked and saddened by the actions of the school, which, in my opinion, reflect an increasing trend of Christians being marginalized in the public square, and unpopular beliefs silenced.
‘While the suggestion that gender is fluid conflicts sharply with my Christian beliefs, I recognize my responsibility as a teacher and Christian to treat each of my pupils with respect.
‘I have balanced these factors by using the pupil’s chosen name, and although I did not intentionally refer to the pupil as a “girl”, I do not believe it is unreasonable to call someone a girl if they were born a girl.’
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is supporting Mr. Sutcliffe, added: ‘This is one of a large number of cases we are encountering where teachers are finding themselves silenced or punished if they refuse to fall in line with the current transgender fad.’
The former Conservative Party chairman Lord Tebbit said: ‘It seems to me this is a mad world when someone is disciplined for stating a biological fact.’
The head said it would not be appropriate to comment on confidential staff disciplinary matters.