Maths teacher sacked after refusing to use teen pupil's preferred pronouns without parental permission

24 September 2022, 23:52 | Updated: 25 September 2022, 00:17

A maths teacher has been sacked after refusing to affirm a pupil’s gender change .
A maths teacher has been sacked after refusing to affirm a pupil’s gender change . Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A maths teacher has been sacked after refusing to use a teenage pupil's preferred pronouns without permission from their parents.

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Kevin Lister, 59, is understood to be taking legal action against his employers for unfair dismissal, claiming he is a victim of a "witch-hunt".

He was dismissed from a Swindon school for "gross misconduct" after refusing to refer to a biologically female student by their preferred male name and he/him pronouns, according to the Mail on Sunday.

He told the paper he was concerned that the social transition could lead to the teen later getting irreversible medical treatments.

"I wanted at least to make sure that my student had parental support and was making an informed decision," he said.

"As a parent myself, I would have been furious if my child had taken this step and I hadn't been told anything."

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The school’s guide to supporting transitioning students is believed to state that staff should "maintain confidentiality and only tell others about the person's trans status with their permission".

Mr Lister discovered earlier in the year that there had been accusations of transphobia against him and he was suspended pending an inquiry.

A disciplinary hearing last month upheld three complaints, which were that he had "subjected a gender-transitioning student" to "transphobic discrimination" and "harassment" and "refused to use" their preferred name and he/him pronouns.

His dismissal letter from the vice-principal reportedly said: "We acknowledge that you are entitled to your beliefs, however, it is my view that your treatment of [the student] violated his dignity."

Mr Lister has refuted the allegations against him, saying he was simply trying to protect his student's welfare. 

A spokesman for the school said to the Mail: "We are unable to comment."