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Teacher sacked for ‘refusing to use transgender student’s chosen pronouns’

A gender-critical teacher was sacked for refusing to use a student’s preferred pronouns, an employment tribunal has heard.

Kevin Lister refused to refer to a 17-year-old biologically female student by their preferred male name and he/him pronouns in A-level lessons.

The 60-year-old is claiming unfair dismissal by New College Swindon after he was sacked for gross misconduct in September 2022 following complaints by two students.

Mr Lister told an employment tribunal in Bristol on Tuesday that when the teenager, known only as Student A, chose to use male pronouns, it had the effect of “compelled speech” – meaning he and fellow students had to follow their wish, irrespective of their own beliefs.

He said: “I took issue with the demand on me to socially transition children who are unable to make an informed decision.

“That is the intention of the policy – to encourage children to socially transition and to push them towards transgender lobby groups.

“It is not the role of a maths teacher to confirm the gender transition and social transition of a student.”

“She does not have the right to compel teachers and other students who do not share her views,” Mr Lister added.

The hearing was told that Student A had informed the college in September 2021 they wished to be addressed by a boy’s name and with the male pronouns.

Mr Lister said that, as a teacher, he had an “obligation to teach facts” and said college policies went beyond the Equality Act and claimed they were “illegal” as a result.

Jude Shepherd, the barrister representing the college, suggested the policy did not prevent staff members holding gender-critical beliefs from being “inclusive and treating people with respect”.

The hearing was told that, during lessons, Mr Lister would point at Student A, rather than use their preferred pronouns.

When Student A asked whether they could enter a nationwide maths competition for girls, he replied: “Of course you can enter because you are a girl.”

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Asked to explain why he had written Student A’s “dead name” on the class whiteboard, Mr Lister replied: “I put her name on the board in the name she would be entered into the competition.

“I don’t accept it was a dead name. I make the point that the name I wrote on the board is the name she would be using to enter her into the girls’ maths competition.”

The hearing continues.

Sky News Source