Teacher fired for not using trans pronouns continues legal fight

Unsplash/Aaron Burden
Unsplash/Aaron Burden

A British teacher who was fired for refusing to use the chosen pronouns of a trans-identified 8-year-old student is bringing her religious discrimination case before an independent tribunal.

The teacher, identified in court documents as “Hannah,” recently brought a claim before the United Kingdom’s Employment Tribunal, which is expected to hear her case in August next year.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, which is helping to represent Hannah, said in a statement Friday that the teacher's firing showed that the culture “has lost its moral compass.”

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“How did we ever decide that it would be helpful for children to be taught that they might be born in the wrong body? How is it helpful for distressed children to encourage them down a path of ‘changing gender’ with all the associated medical intervention?” stated Williams.

“The Department for Education must look closely at this case and take appropriate action to protect teachers, who often hold Christian beliefs on these issues, from being hounded out of the profession for opposing or even questioning transgender ideology.”

In September 2021, the school where Hannah taught adopted a new policy that required faculty and staff to affirm the chosen gender identity of a child, including allowing boys who chose to identify as female to enter the girls' restrooms.

The school also reportedly cited the controversial trans charity group Mermaids as an authoritative resource; a group that the British government would eventually stop promoting Mermaids as a valid organization.

The teacher was told to affirm the chosen gender identity of an 8-year-old student identified in court records as “Child X,” even though it was not the child's actual sex.

When Hannah objected to this, citing both her religious beliefs and research indicating that gender affirmation can be harmful, the school suspended her and eventually fired her.

Last October, Justice Judith Farbey at Birmingham Civil and Family Justice Center ruled against the teacher, arguing that Hannah lacked the standing to bring the challenge.

"The claimant in this case does not teach Child X," Farbey said. "She has in the past had a personal dispute with the school about how she could or should treat Child X but that has been resolved.”

“By bringing these proceedings, she seeks to ventilate what she calls 'substantive safeguarding concerns' about Child X. In doing so, she does not claim to represent Child X. As a matter of law, she cannot represent Child X’s interests because she has not sought the court’s permission to do so.”

Farbey also noted that the ruling was not about “any of the advantages or disadvantages of any education policy,” adding that the “public is divided on the issue of transgenderism in schools and there is no consensus on the approach.”

Last month, Hannah wrote a letter to Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan, requesting a meeting to discuss how the government can “prevent other teachers” from “being treated as I have.”

“I know that the government is bringing out guidance for schools on transgenderism. I think it would be very important for you to meet with me ahead of that guidance being published so that you can hear first-hand how safeguarding concerns about the gender transition of young children are being dismissed and treated with contempt by schools,” the teacher continued.

“I very much hope that you can assure me that any teacher who raises similar concerns will have the protection of the law in future and that the guidance which you will be publishing will make this very clear.”   

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