A British schoolteacher who was suspended after he used female pronouns to refer to a student who was born female but decided to transition to male has now launched a lawsuit against his former employer, claiming that being forced to adhere to such guidelines infringed his rights as a Christian.
Joshua Sutcliffe, a 27-year-old from Oxford who teaches at a state secondary school, found himself in hot water for saying, “Well done girls” to a group that included a student who preferred male pronouns, the Daily Mail reported.
Sutcliffe immediately apologized to the aggrieved student after getting corrected. Nevertheless, he was suspended nearly two months later after the student’s mother filed a complaint that lead to Sutcliffe being disciplined for “misgendering” the student.
The educator is now pushing back against the school with a lawsuit, alleging that administrators are guilty of “oppressive behavior” by trying to bully Sutcliffe into not going public with their abuse of power.
“As a Christian, I do not share your belief in the ideology of transgenderism,” he wrote in a letter to the headmaster. “I do not believe that young children should be encouraged to self-select a ‘gender’ which may be different from their biological sex; or that everyone at school should adjust their behavior to accommodate such a ‘transition’; or that people should be punished for lack of enthusiasm about it.”
“Implementation of these ideas is detrimental to the welfare of children, which I believe should be a paramount consideration. However, as a professional, I was always careful not to breach my employer’s policies so long as I was not forced to act contrary to my conscience,” Sutcliffe added.
The Christian Legal Centre, which is representing Sutcliffe, also argued that he “had been given no formal instruction on how he was to refer to the pupil” and painted the investigation as unnecessarily harsh.