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Christian teacher sacked over treatment of trans student loses legal challenge

The East Midlands teacher was suspended for refusing to call the child by their new name and pronouns and later sacked after sharing confidential information about them.

By Emily Maskell

school (Image: Pexels)

An East Midlands teacher who refused the simple request to call a transgender student by their new name and pronouns has lost a bid to launch a legal challenge against their school.

The teacher, who is remaining anonymous, applied to the High Court to launch a judicial review for the school requiring her to follow its, as she describes, “transgender-affirming approach,” the BBC reported. 

She states she raised “safeguarding concerns” with the school, believing the policy could be “damaging” or “harmful” to the 8-year-old child.

“From my perspective, I felt this whole approach was potentially harmful for children, and I just couldn’t in all conscience go through with it,” the teacher said, speaking to ITV News.

The teacher was originally suspended for disagreeing with the decision to support the child, referred to as Child X, and their parents who didn’t want other pupils or parents to know the child’s biological sex.

Reportedly, at a previous school, Child X had been bullied for their trans identity. 

The teacher was then sacked for gross misconduct after taking legal advice that involved sharing confidential information about Child X. 

Aileen McColgan KC, the defence lawyer, stated to the Birmingham court that the teacher “obsessively trawled” the school’s database for private information about the child and was  “ideologically driven” by her beliefs rather than genuine concerns about the pupil.

The Christian Legal Centre – the legal branch of Christian Concern – hoped this would be a “landmark case” for religion and belief in relation to education and schooling.

However, Judge Mrs Justice Farbey denied permission for a judicial review to be launched as a “reasonable concern in welfare” has not been established. 

She noted that “public and expert opinion” were divided on the topic of trans children but, for this case, the court need not be involved. 

The teacher has been reported to the Teaching Regulation Agency, she could be banned from teaching forever.

The teacher has not yet indicated if she will lodge an appeal to the Court of Appeal but has appealed against her sacking internally.