A school in England suspended a teacher after he accidentally referred to a transgender boy student as a girl.
Math teacher Joshua Sutcliffe, 27, said “well done girls” to two students at an Oxfordshire secondary school. He apologized to the transgender student, however, Sutcliffe faces a disciplinary hearing this week and officials could charge him with misconduct for misgendering, the Evening Standard reported.
“While the suggestion that gender is fluid conflicts sharply with my Christian beliefs… I have never looked to impose my convictions on others,” Sutcliffe, who is also a Christian pastor, said according to BBC News.
The teacher was suspended six weeks after the incident when the student’s mother complained.
Sutcliffe thinks referring to someone by their birth gender isn’t wrong or unreasonable, according to the Daily Mail.
The Oxfordshire school told BBC that it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the investigation into the teacher’s conduct.
More than 2,000 children aged three to 18 in the U.K. were referred to a gender identity specialist last year, BBC reports.
The teacher’s suspension comes after similar events in the U.S. An 8-year-old transgender student and his parents recently sued a California school for failing to let him express his identity as a girl and another set of parents filed a lawsuit against a school in New York, alleging the school created a hostile environment for their five-year-old kid, according to The New York Times. (Related: 8-Year-Old Boy Sues Private School For Not Letting Him Be A Girl).
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