Teacher fired for whistleblowing on school’s ‘trans affirming’ policy sues county

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A teacher in Nottingham, England, has initiated legal action against Nottinghamshire County Council and a primary school for dismissal and alleged discrimination after voicing concerns over orders that an 8-year-old child be recognized by new pronouns and name as per the school’s policy on trans affirmation.

The case is set to be heard at the Employment Tribunal in Nottingham on Tuesday, said Christian Concern, whose legal arm, the Christian Legal Centre, is supporting the teacher, identified as Hannah.

Hannah contends she was unfairly dismissed and victimized for whistleblowing on the school’s “trans affirming” policy. Her claims also extend to discrimination based on her Christian beliefs.

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The school’s policy, Hannah claims, endangers children by affirming their self-declared gender identity without medical evidence or consideration of potential risks.

The dispute began when Hannah objected to instructions that the 8-year-old child be recognized by opposite-sex pronouns and name, aligning with the child’s chosen gender identity, contrary to Hannah’s Christian convictions. She raised safeguarding concerns, asserting that the policy could harm the child and other students, which she says were ignored by the school and local authorities.

Hannah’s dismissal followed her sharing with her legal team what the school deemed confidential information as part of her efforts to challenge the policy. Her upcoming testimony is expected to detail her belief in the safeguarding risks posed by the school’s policy and the broader implications of LGBTQI+ ideology on educational practices.

The government published a draft trans guidance for schools in December 2023, emphasizing the importance of biological sex in school policies. It asserts that teachers should not be compelled to use preferred pronouns that conflict with a child’s biological sex. It also stresses safeguarding responsibilities and the protection of single-sex spaces in educational settings.

A report by Policy Exchange supports Hannah’s concerns, criticizing the neglect of safeguarding standards in schools in favor of contested beliefs about gender, potentially compromising child welfare and safety, Christian Concern noted.

“Like all teachers at the school, I owed a safeguarding duty to Child X,” Hannah was quoted as saying. “I followed all the correct procedures, I backed all of my concerns with expert evidence and believed the action I took was in the public interest. It is because I care so much about children that I am taking this action. This isn’t about me simply trying to prove that I am right, but about the safety of seriously distressed children.”

She added, “I could not participate in causing harm to Child X. The tragic stories of ‘detransitioners,’ the Policy Exchange report and clear expert scientific evidence, back and vindicate me. Teachers are being bullied not to question trans affirming policies but evidence shows they put the welfare of children at serious risk.”

The teacher said she's “determined to pursue justice over how I have been treated because my number one concern and motivation is to protect this child and other children in this country from harm.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said teachers face repercussions for opposing trans affirmation policies despite evidence suggesting potential harm. The case, according to Williams, exposes systemic failures in safeguarding protocols and the need for educational authorities to protect teachers from professional repercussions when they express dissent on such policies.

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