Teacher banned for misgendering trans pupil
A teacher has been banned from the profession following a series of misconduct allegations including misgendering transgender pupils, sharing views against same-sex marriage, and putting pupils at risk by talking about them on daytime TV.
33-year-old Joshua Sutcliffe can no longer work in any English school after a ruling by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) found that he fell short of basic safeguarding guidelines.
The former maths teacher at Oxford’s Cherwell School was also found guilty of several misconduct violations, including expressing his views against same-sex marriage when asked by a pupil, as well as allegedly encouraging pupils to watch ‘inappropriate’ videos about masculinity.
Sutcliffe had also, on multiple occasions, allegedly misgendered a trans student in his class.
He was reported and subsequently suspended in 2017 following allegations that he had, once again, refused to use he/him pronouns for the trans boy in his class.
Following his resignation and decision to sue the school for what he described as religious discrimination, Sutcliffe then appeared on ITV’s This Morning to discuss his dismissal, which the TRA said “made it likely” that the pupil could have been identified.
“The panel was satisfied that the conduct of Mr Sutcliffe fell significantly short of the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher,” the ruling stated.
The misconduct panel also heard that the maths teacher has made multiple videos on a YouTube channel, which multiple of his pupils are allegedly subscribed to, where he purports that Muslims have a “false understanding of God” and that Muhammad was a “false prophet.”
Experts also heard that he told students to “look out for the next video.”
In a statement, Sutcliffe’s lawyer, Michael Phillips, denied this and several other misconduct allegations prior to the ruling, saying that several of his comments were taken out of context.
Following the ruling, Sutcliffe commented only on the misgendering allegations.
“I believe affirming children in gender confusion in the classroom is psychologically damaging for them. I refuse to go against my conscience and cause a child harm and refuse to apologise for that,” he said.
The prohibition order was confirmed by the board’s decision maker, Alan Meyrick, who said it was “necessary” to do so in order to maintain “public confidence in the profession.”
Additionally, TRA representative Andrew Cullen said in February that Sutciffe had “lost sight of his role” in expressing his anti-LGBTQ+ personal beliefs.
“He prioritised his interests above that of Pupil A,” he said, referencing the trans student. “If you find there was one incident in which he apologised, there can be no finding of misconduct. The TRA’s case has never been that a teacher should be prosecuted for an accidental slip.
“This, the TRA’s case, is not about speech censorship. The teacher failed to separate the preacher from the teacher in the way that he acted.”
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