A teacher who refused to call a transgender pupil by their preferred name and pronouns has lost a bid to launch a legal challenge against their school. The court heard she was \”ideologically driven\” by her beliefs.
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The teacher had applied to the High Court to launch a judicial review against her dismissal, but Mr Justice Warby rejected the application.
He said there was \”no serious issue to be tried\” and the case was \”not arguable\”.
The campaign group Christian Concern, which supported the teacher, said she was sacked for gross misconduct after sharing information about the child while taking legal advice.
A spokesperson for the group said they were \”disappointed\” by the ruling and would be considering an appeal.
The teacher, who has not been named, was employed at a school in the north of England.
She said she had safeguarding concerns about the school\’s support of the child, described in court as a \”transgender-affirming approach\”.
But Warby J said the teacher\’s application for judicial review was \”nothing more than an attempt to re-litigate matters which have already been decided\”.
\”The claimant\’s primary submission is that her rights under EU law and the Human Rights Convention have been infringed,\” he added.
\”In my judgment, that submission is not arguable.\”
He also said \”no evidence\” that the teacher had suffered any detriment because of her beliefs.
The ruling means the teacher will not be able to mount a legal challenge against her dismissal.
According to media reports, the teacher is believed to be the first in the UK to be sacked over their refusal to use a transgender pupil\’s preferred pronouns.
Transgender pupils in England and Wales are protected by the 2010 Equality Act, which says schools must treat them according to their \”acquired gender\”.
This means using the pronouns they prefer, such as \”he\” or \”she\”, and allowing them to use the toilet and changing room of their chosen gender.
In 2017, a teacher in the US was suspended after refusing to use a transgender pupil\’s preferred pronouns. The incident sparked a national debate about transgender rights.
In the UK, the number of children and young people seeking help for gender dysphoria has increased in recent years.
According to figures from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which runs the only gender identity clinic for children in England, there was a more than four-fold increase in referrals between 2014 and 2018.
The trust said it had seen a \”sharp increase\” in the number of children and young people presenting with gender dysphoria since 2013.
However, some campaigners have raised concerns about the way transgender pupils are being supported in schools.
In 2018, a group of parents staged a protest at a primary school in Birmingham after it emerged that pupils were being taught about transgender issues without their consent.
And last year, more than 100 parents protested outside another primary school in London over its plans to teach children about LGBT rights.
What do you think of the ruling? Do you think the teacher was treated fairly? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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