In a world where nobody knows where to go to the bathroom anymore and we’re allowing 8-year-olds to decide whether they wanna self-identify as boys, girls or pineapples, Joshua Sutcliffe’s story may come as no surprise.
Nevertheless, the British math teacher’s ‘misgendering’ debacle is one that needs to be heard—out of the sheer ridiculousness that ignited it.
“Absolutely fantastic job, girls.”
Those are precisely the words that Sutcliffe used to encourage a small group of females who had excelled on a recent test.
And those are the same words that have led to the accusation that he demonstrated “discriminatory behaviors” and “contravened the school’s equality policy.”
It turns out, one of those girls wished to be identified as a boy, and Mr. Sutcliffe had a slip-up. Though he profusely apologized to the student after his mistake, the damage had been done. An investigation was launched, and he was officially suspended from teaching as it was conducted.
“I was absolutely shocked to be told by the head that I was under investigation,” said Sutcliffe. “I didn’t know what was happening. It was surreal. I said it was only one incident for which I had apologized, but he insisted the investigation would go ahead.”
“I have been sat in detention now for six days and it is like solitude,” he added. “It’s like I have been publically shamed.”
The 27-year-old math teacher who is also a pastor of an evangelical church in Oxford felt his career crumbling beneath his feet over a comment that he merely intended to be uplifting.
The girl who wished to be identified as a boy had previously scored the lowest test score in the class, and that particular time had scored the highest. Thus, he wanted to include her in the small tutorial group he was addressing by congratulating them. He had never been specifically informed or instructed to refer to the particular student as a boy, so to be reprimanded so harshly for this unknown offense seemed very extreme.
According to the Daily Mail, “He had no official instructions about how to address the student, but along with other staff decided to use the pupil’s chosen first name.”
“My first objective is to get to know each student by name, to make them feel welcome,” explained Sutcliffe. “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 if they are a brand new student that I haven’t been told any information about.”
Though he’s an evangelical Christian with specific convictions about God’s designation of the male and female gender, he had no intention of breaking school policies or causing harm to the student. Still, an honest mistake nearly cost him his career and reputation.
“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,” said Sutcliffe.
“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,” remarked Christian Concern CEO, Andrea Williams, of the situation.
Now the wrongly-accused math teacher has had enough, and he is attempting to turn the tables to take a stand for what he believes is right. In a letter to the school’s headmaster, Sutcliffe firmly asserted his beliefs and stated that he will be taking legal action over the matter:
“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.
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. 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.”
For Sutcliffe, the ‘misgendering’ ordeal is just one issue indicative of a much larger problem running rampant in public schools.
He states that he was also running a voluntary Bible club at the school that was quickly shut down after kids asked him what his stance on marriage was.
“After lots of thought, I said that the Bible is very clear, marriage is between a man and a woman,” Sutcliffe replied to the children.
The club was immediately eliminated despite hundreds of grievances to reopen it.
“The iron fist basically came down on the club,” said Sutcliffe. “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.”
“I have been shocked and saddened by the actions of the school, which, in my opinion, reflect an increasing trend of Christians being marginalized in the public square, and unpopular beliefs silenced,” he added.
Kudos to this brave teacher for remaining strong in his biblical convictions in the midst of a system and society trying to replace Christianity with a watered-down version of ethical relativism.
See more from Sutcliffe’s controversial story in the Christian Concern interview below.