A Christian math teacher in the United Kingdom has been banned from teaching indefinitely by the government for “misgendering” a student and expressing his Christian beliefs on marriage and homosexuality.
The Teaching Regulation Agency (“TRA”), under the Department of Education, ruled this month that Joshua Sutcliffe was guilty of “unacceptable professional conduct” and “bringing the teaching profession into disrepute” and subsequently barred him from the teaching profession.
The ruling is believed to be “the first of its kind,” the legal organization supporting the teacher says. The 32-year-old previously taught math at Cherwell School out of Oxford in 2017 when an ordinary conversation in his class led to him getting fired.
Sutcliffe recalled to Fox News Digital how he had congratulated a couple of students on solving a problem one day in class. He had only addressed one of these students previously by name. “But on this day I congratulated her and her friend for some good effort by saying, ‘Well done, girls.’ And that in her mind was a misgendering,” he said.
Although he apologized to calm the student, the student’s parent filed a complaint with the school and Sutcliffe was put on leave for a week. The teacher said he wished the incident could’ve been dealt with privately between himself and the family but the school’s disciplinary action forced him to go to the press on the matter.
He was dismissed by the school and later settled his legal case against his employer out of court. After transferring to a Catholic school in North London the next year, Sutcliffe found himself in trouble again over gender issues.
In 2017, Mr. Sutcliffe was suspended and subsequently left The Cherwell School after he praised a group of pupils by saying ‘well-done girls’ – claiming later this was not deliberate and that he apologized straight away.
He took legal action against the school for constructive dismissal and discrimination. The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) concluded it was ‘more probable than not’ that he addressed the transgender pupil with female pronouns in other instances during his time at the school between 2015 and 2018 – which he denies.
Mr. Sutcliffe said he is ‘devastated’ by the ruling and plans to appeal. He also called for teachers to receive more training about their interactions with trans pupils.
‘Teachers are under enough stress as it is. It’s a high-pressure role, a lot is expected of you and you’re not paid an awful lot. And then they’ve got this to contend with, and a lot of teachers will just capitulate out of fear,’ he said.
‘But a lot of teachers, Christian and non-Christian, will no doubt have convictions that sex is immutable. That’s why the guidance is really needed.’
As well as being struck off for misgendering, the preacher’s son was also found to have expressed his opposition to gay marriage when quizzed by a pupil.
Mr. Sutcliffe was also found to have failed to ‘consider the potential impact’ on his pupils, particularly those who are LGBT, of a statement that being gay was wrong.