Teacher sues school over ‘harmful’ transgender policies – Sunday Times
A UK primary teacher who was sacked for challenging the school’s transgender policies will take her case to court next week, the Sunday Times has reported. According to the outlet, the teacher, who does not want to disclose her identity, had previously refused to address an eight-year old girl as a boy.
“Children are being experimented on, and schools are silencing teachers who disagree with the policy of simply accepting that if parents ask for a child to be treated as the opposite sex, they must go along with that,” she is quoted as saying.
By making the staff unquestioningly encourage some children’s belief that they are “in the wrong body,” schools essentially coerce teachers “into teaching children lies,” the fired educator claimed.
The judicial review, targeting both the school governors and the local council, is believed to be the first case of this kind, according to the Sunday Times. The hearings will take place in Birmingham High Court, the outlet revealed.
The row started in September of last year, when the head of the school ordered the teacher to treat a female pupil in her next Year 4 as a boy. The head teacher explained that it was the wish of the child’s parents and that under the school policy, which is backed by the local council, the charity Stonewall, and the Church of England, the child should be treated as transgender. The teacher, in turn, shared her concerns, saying in an email that using a boy’s name and pronouns would be “harmful” for a girl. As a result, she was suspended for several weeks but was later – with the assistance of lawyers – reinstated on the condition that she not approach the pupil or discuss her thoughts on the matter with other staff. However, this year, after she continued to challenge the school’s transgender policies, she was sacked, the Sunday Times revealed.
Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, the teacher filed an application for a judicial review of the school’s refusal to consider her concerns. The school, meanwhile, reported her to the Teaching Regulation Agency, which could ban her for life from teaching, according to the newspaper.
Earlier this week, The Times reported that the UK Department of Education had come up with draft transgender guidance for schools, although, according to the outlet, this risks “opening up a cabinet split.”
The proposed measures, as reported by The Times, include allowing trans pupils to use school changing rooms ahead of their fellow classmates, permitting children that do not identify with their biological sex to wear the uniform of their own choosing, as well as introducing gender-neutral bathrooms.