Maths teacher sacked after refusing to use trans student’s new pronouns, tribunal told

Maths teacher Kevin Lister was sacked after refusing to use a trans pupil’s new pronouns, an employment tribunal has been told. 

Kevin Lister, 60, is claiming unfair dismissal by New College Swindon in Wiltshire after he was sacked in September 2022 for gross misconduct. 

The sacking followed complaints by students that Lister refused to use he/him pronouns for a 17-year-old transitioning pupil. 

At his employment tribunal at Bristol Civil Justice Centre on Tuesday (19 March), the hearing heard the pupil – known only as Student A – requested to be addressed by a male name and pronouns in September 2021. 

Lister said the request of the pupil was akin to “compelled speech”. 

“I took issue with the demand on me to socially transition children who are unable to make an informed decision,” he said, as quoted by Sky News

“That is the intention of the policy – to encourage children to socially transition and to push them towards transgender lobby groups.” 

He said it is “not the role” of a maths teacher to “confirm the gender transition and social transition of a student”. 

“She does not have the right to compel teachers and other students who do not share her views,” he said, adding that as a teacher he has the “obligation to teach facts”.

Jude Shepherd, the barrister representing the college, said the policies the college has in place do not prevent gender-critical staff from being “inclusive and treating people with respect”. 

The hearing continues.

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