“Absolutely fantastic job, girls.”
That is the exact phrasing British math teacher Joshua Sutcliffe used when congratulating his small tutorial class on their excellent work. The only problem? One of the students wanted to be referred to as a boy. Despite immediately apologizing for what he says was an honest mistake, an immediate investigation was launched.
“I was absolutely shocked to be told by the head that I was under investigation. I didn’t know what was happening. It was surreal,” Sutcliffe said, as reported by the Daily Mail. “I said it was only one incident for which I had apologised, but he insisted the investigation would go ahead.”
The teacher was found to have “contravened the school’s equality policy” by “demonstrating discriminatory behaviors,” even though he says not only was it a slip of the tongue but that the school has given teacher’s little to no training on dealing with transgender children.
Now, he says that the school has become partial in its judgment of these situations, and exhibits a heavy leaning to the left. “I had always tried to respect the pupil and keep a professional attitude as well as my integrity, but it seemed to me that the school was trying to force me to adhere to its liberal, leftish agenda,” he said.
The events that transpired resulted in Sutcliffe being suspended from his teaching role as his case gets reviewed. Now, he is turning the tables on the school and taking them to an employment tribunal.
Sutcliffe outlined his grievances in a letter to the headmaster of Cherwell School, where he has taught since 2015:
“As a Christian, I do not share your belief in the ideology of transgenderism. 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,” he wrote.
“I am more than willing to answer all the unjustified allegations you are now advancing against me, and detail my own grievances about your totalitarian ‘equality’ policies and practices. However, I intend to do so before an independent tribunal, not before yourselves acting as a judge and jury in your own case,” Sutcliffe continued. “I regret that our relations have reached this point, but I feel I have no choice but to bring legal proceedings against you without further notice.”
Sutcliffe, an associate pastor at Oxford’s Christ Revelation Church, revealed more of the key details of his case in a newly released video for British religious freedom organization Christian Concern.
“I never thought I’d be in this situation,” he said. “I was just a math teacher getting on with my job the best that I could, trying to adhere to all the school policies. And here I am, sat in solitude, not knowing what’s going on.”
Mr. Sutcliffe insists that he was unaware of the fact that one girl in his class had requested to be addressed as a boy, and argues he has been unfairly punished for this mishap.
“The simple fact is, I’m in this situation because I did something that I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to do. I wasn’t informed. I didn’t have any information, and here I am in solitude,” he explained.
“My first objective is to get to know each student by name, to make them feel welcome. For me, this student was a girl. Turns out this student wants to be called a boy. This shouldn’t be expected upon teachers to know all the ins and outs of students, especially is they are a brand new student that I haven’t been told any information about.”
Sutcliffe said he was “a bit unsure” about the student in question. “To me, this student looked like a girl,” he explained. “I do remember that conversation by the colleague saying this student would like to be called a boy. That’s the only information that I had.”
Sutcliffe came up with a solution. He would refrain from using particular pronouns when addressing the student, citing his personal convictions on the matter. “I wasn’t really sure. I know it’s a sensitive issue, and I didn’t want it to affect the learning environment. I continued with that position. This student started a particular lesson well recently. Of course, I was thrilled. To be a good teacher you have to encourage your students. So I said, “absolutely fantastic job, girls.”
He continued: “This happened about six weeks ago, and this is the thing that has come under investigation. I’m being accused of misgendering; that’s the sort of allegation against me, and that’s why I have not been teaching my classes for six days now, and it is due to be even longer than that.”
“I have been sat in detention now for six days and it is like solitude. It’s like I have been publically shamed.”
In a testimony posted to his church YouTube page (see below), Joshua also described how he was running a Bible club at the school before being told he could no longer engage with students on matters of religious belief.
“I was running a voluntary Bible club. Lots of students were coming and asking questions. And then within the Bible club, some of the students asked me what my position on marriage was,” he explained to his Church.
“After lots of thought, I said that the Bible is very clear, marriage is between a man and a woman.”
After this statement, the club was immediately shut down.
“The iron fist basically came down on the club,” Joshua detailed. “It was shut down and it has been shut down for six months now. There has been a whole process of trying to get the club back into working order; letters, grievances and all that.”
Sutcliffe said “at least a hundred” had come to the club.
As for his case, it will now be battled out in court. However, Sutcliffe believes this is just one example of a wider problem. He argues that Christian’s are being increasingly persecuted for their convictions on sensitive issues such as gender identity.
“I have been shocked and saddened by the actions of the school, which, in my opinion, reflect an increasing trend of Christians being marginalised in the public square, and unpopular beliefs silenced,” he noted.
Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, added:
“This case is one of a flood of cases we are encountering where teachers are finding themselves silenced or punished if they refuse to fall in line with the current sexual and gender ideology being imposed on our children in schools.
We all know how much we change during our teenage years. It is vital that during those years we help our children to live in the biological sex they were born rather than encouraging them to change ‘gender’.
If we encourage them to change gender it is not kind and compassionate; it is cruel.
What we need is a culture in our schools which gives emotional support to children through puberty without encouraging them to make life-long decisions against their natural born biological sex.
If we collude in the transgender delusion we do not serve our children well, we harm them.”
Watch Joshua speak to Christian Concern below: