A teacher in England has been suspended, and may lose his job, for complimenting a student incorrectly.
Joshua Sutcliffe saw two students working hard in class and praised them, saying "Well done, girls." What he didn't realize was that one of them identified as a boy. That student corrected Mr. Sutcliffe, he apologized, and they moved on. So he thought. Six weeks later, the student's mother complained that he had "misgendered" her child and Mr. Sutcliffe has been suspended. He may, in fact, lose his job.
In addition, there are those claiming that Sutcliffe is going against the school's equality policies by calling the student by name instead of by gender-specific pronouns, something that other teachers do as well. Sutcliffe calls this claim "political correctness gone mad."
"I was absolutely shocked to be told by the head that I was under investigation. I didn’t know what was happening. It was surreal, Kafkaesque.
"I said it was only one incident for which I had apologised, but he insisted the investigation would go ahead.
"I had always tried to respect the pupil and keep a professional attitude as well as my integrity, but it seemed to me that the school was trying to force me to adhere to its liberal, Leftist agenda."
Stutcliffe also works as a pastor who held an optional lunchtime Bible study for students at the school, but it was shut down earlier this year when he answered a question by saying that the Bible defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. Sutcliffe thinks his Christian values are simply not allowed in the school.
"I have been shocked and saddened by the actions of the school, which, in my opinion, reflect an increasing trend of Christians being marginalized in the public square, and unpopular beliefs silenced.
"While the suggestion that gender is fluid conflicts sharply with my Christian beliefs, I recognize my responsibility as a teacher and Christian to treat each of my pupils with respect."
The school has not commented.