An elementary school teacher in the U.K. was reportedly fired after refusing to use a “transgender” eight-year-old student’s preferred pronouns.
According to The Telegraph, the school fully supported the child’s social transition, demanding all staff to refer to the student using male pronouns.
Despite the school’s instructions, a Christian teacher expressed uneasiness about the situation, leading school authorities to accuse her of engaging in acts of “direct discrimination,” with disagreements between the teacher and the school’s administration eventually resulting in her suspension.
Although such a suspension was then rescinded after the Christian teacher agreed to limit interactions with the child and not use any names or pronouns when communicating with the little girl, she was eventually fired for raising the issue of the child’s situation with her lawyers, which the school claimed was an act of misconduct because of data protection laws.
The school allegedly reported the Christian teacher to the Teacher Regulation Agency for violating confidentiality regulations, which could result in a lifetime ban from teaching. In response, the teacher launched a legal case against Nottinghamshire County Council, the school’s authority, claiming she was unfairly fired and discriminated against over her religion.
“Teachers are being bullied not to question trans-affirming policies when evidence shows that the actual result of the approach is to put the welfare of children at serious risk,” the teacher reportedly said regarding the case.
The government of the U.K. is planning to create guidance for schools on how to respond to students who question their gender. Teachers will be told they do not have to use a child’s preferred pronouns.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, a Christian advocacy group based in the U.K., supporting the Christian teacher’s case, said, “This story exposes the confusion and untruths being embedded in primary schools which are developing into a public health crisis.”
“The Department for Education must look closely at this case and take appropriate action to protect teachers, who often hold Christian beliefs on these issues, from being hounded out of the profession for opposing or even questioning transgender ideology,” Williams added.
Christians should be free to express their beliefs without fear of being hounded from their jobs, our chief executive, @A_Minichiello, has told @thetimes. https://t.co/MNpL2yEMh0
— Christian Concern (@CConcern) May 3, 2023
A spokesman for the U.K.’s Department of Education said the department does not comment on individual cases but is working closely with other branches to guide schools on safeguarding children.
“We expect schools to carefully consider their approach to these matters, to ensure that they take the right decision from the point of view of safeguarding children, accounting for parents’ views and those of medical experts where relevant,” the spokesman said.