UK school suspends Christian teacher for 'misgendering' student

A school in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom, has suspended a Christian math teacher for "misgendering" a student by mistake even though he immediately apologized for his slip-of-the-tongue.

(REUTERS / Jonathan Drake / File photo)A sign protesting a recent North Carolina law restricting transgender bathroom access is seen in the bathroom stalls at the 21C Museum Hotel in Durham, North Carolina May 3, 2016.

Joshua Sutcliffe, an associate pastor at Christ Revelation Church and a math teacher at a school in Oxfordshire, is in danger of losing his job after saying, "Well done, girls," to a group of female students which included one who was gender-confused. He immediately apologized for what he said, but the student's mother complained that he had "misgendered" her child, the Church Militant detailed.

Sutcliffe said he had merely wanted to acknowledge the effort of his students in improving their grades and added that the pupil in question had showed remarkable progress. He also noted that none of the other parents had complaints about him and that the same mother had previously filed a complaint about his distribution of Christian flyers at a gay pride march.

The school conducted a week-long investigation and concluded that Sutcliffe had indeed "misgendered" the student and had exhibited "discriminatory behaviors." Penalties and disciplinary action have been recommended against him.

"The Stonewall community appears to intentionally to go out looking to cause trouble with people who are earnestly living out the Faith in Christ," Sutcliffe told the Church Militant. "I have seen paper slips that encourage members [to] write down and trip up anyone not conforming to their ideology."

For Sutcliffe, the school's action against him highlighted the rising trend of marginalizing Christians in the public square and censoring or punishing them for their beliefs. Nevertheless, he said there were a lot of Christians who have expressed their support for him amidst his situation.

In August, a first grader at Rocklin Academy in California was sent to the principal's office after unintentionally "misgendering" a classmate. The girl had called a classmate by the name he had used the previous year and the boy reported the incident to a teacher, Fox News relayed.

The principal investigated the little girl for an hour to determine if she had bullied the transgendered child but concluded that it was merely an honest mistake. The girl was neither punished nor reprimanded, but she was reportedly traumatized because of what happened.