Christian teacher banned from class for ‘misgendering’ student

Joshua Sutcliffe (Courtesy Christian Concern)

Joshua Sutcliffe (Courtesy Christian Concern)

By Kate Anderson
Daily Caller News Foundation

  • Christian teacher Joshua Sutcliffe was banned from the classroom by the Teaching Regulation Agency for failing to properly use the preferred pronouns of a transgender student.
  • The Christian Legal Centre said that the agency’s ruling was believed to be the first time a teacher was banned by the department for misgendering a student, according to the press release.
  • “I have been bullied and pursued and have had every part of my life scrutinized for expressing my Christian faith and biological truth,” Sutcliffe said in a press release.

A Christian math teacher was banned from the classroom in the United Kingdom for “unprofessional conduct” after misgendering a transgender student, according to a Tuesday press release from Christian Legal Centre (CLC).

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CLC is representing Joshua Sutcliffe, a former teacher at The Cherwell School in Oxford, after he came under investigation by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) over allegations that he misgendered a biologically female student, referred to as Pupil A, who identifies as a male, according to The Telegraph. The TRA ruled this week that Sutcliffe had engaged in “unprofessional conduct” and accused him of “bringing the profession into disrepute,” according to the press release.

“Following an investigation, the TRA commenced a prosecution and after a 7-day hearing recommended a prohibition order removing Joshua from the classroom,” the press release read. “The order can be reviewed at the earliest after two years. Despite Joshua’s pleas for leniency and hearing good character evidence from two parents of children he had tutored, the Department of the Secretary of State for Education dismissed Mr Sutcliffe’s positive contribution to teaching concluding ‘that a prohibition order is proportionate and in the public interest’ in order to maintain ‘confidence in the profession.’”

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CLC said that the agency’s ruling was believed to be the first time a teacher was banned by the department for misgendering a student, but Sutcliffe has been disciplined by school administrators in the past for not complying with the school’s gender policies, according to the press release. In 2017, Sutcliffe was suspended and then dismissed from his position by Cherwell after he abstained from using a transgender student’s pronouns due to his religious beliefs.

A Cherwell spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the school would decline to comment until the release of the TRA’s full report.

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Sutcliffe later sued the school and began teaching at St Aloysius in North London but quickly experienced similar problems after students and faculty found out about his past at Cherwell and his YouTube account critiquing Islam, according to the press release. In 2019, he resigned from the school after feeling pressure over his beliefs and was later put under investigation for misconduct by the TRA.

The agency concluded that Sutcliffe had shown “a lack of dignity and respect” toward Pupil A by using female pronouns instead of the preferred male pronouns on multiple occasions, which the former teacher denied, according to the press release. Sutcliffe was also determined to have failed in his duties as a teacher after he appeared on ITV’s “This Morning” show to talk about his suspension from Cherwell in 2017 and for showing a video about masculinity by PragerU, a conservative nonprofit, to students.

Sutcliffe said in the press release that he was “devastated” by the TRA’s decision and planned on appealing the ruling.

“I have been bullied and pursued and have had every part of my life scrutinized for expressing my Christian faith and biological truth,” Sutcliffe said. “This decision is putting my family and I at risk. I have a young son and everything that is happening is affecting him. I believe affirming children who are in gender distress in the classroom is psychologically damaging for them. I refuse to go against my conscience and cause a child harm and cannot apologize for that.”

The TRA did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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