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‘Transgender ideology is a cult’, sacked teacher tells tribunal

A teacher who refused to use a student’s preferred pronouns in the classroom has told an employment tribunal he believes “transgender ideology is a cult”.

Kevin Lister, 60, is claiming unfair dismissal after he was sacked for gross misconduct in September 2022 by New College Swindon following complaints by two students.

He had refused to refer to a biologically female student, aged 17, by their preferred male name and he/him pronouns in A-level lessons.

The teenager – known only as Student A – had told the college in September 2021 they wished to be addressed by a boy’s name and with the male pronouns.

The hearing in Bristol heard Mr Lister immediately raised a safeguarding concern because of the request, and also the student’s academic performance.

Later in the academic year, the teenager’s friend, referred to as Student B, made a formal complaint about Mr Lister’s conduct.

Continuing his evidence for a second day, Mr Lister denied he had “violated the dignity in a public way and caused the distress” of Student A in how he interacted with them during lessons.

“She may have felt that but there is no evidence of that,” he said.

“I never did that in a public way. The only person I had spoken to was Student B who instructed me to refer to Student A as male under the threat of complaint.

“I believe the student was immersed in a cult. I believe transgender ideology is a cult and should not be encouraged and supported in schools.”

Mr Lister denied he held “extreme” views after agreeing he believed if a parent supported their child’s wish to transition, they should be “investigated for Munchausen’s by proxy”.

Student B’s complaint was investigated by Charlotte Best, the college’s student experience manager.

Read more from Sky News:
‘Football authorities should consider banning transgender women’
Transgender children could be ‘forcibly outed’, charities warn

Giving evidence, Mrs Best was questioned by Mr Lister about her findings, and she told the hearing: “Your behaviour was unwarranted and repeated and amounted to harassment and bullying.

“I strongly believe that no student should experience bullying at the hands of their teacher, so I stand by my comments.

“I believe Student A was underperforming and not attending classes because of your conduct towards them.”

The hearing continues.

Sky News Source