Maths teacher sacked after refusing to use trans pupil’s preferred name and pronouns

A screenshot image of maths teacher Kevin Lister

A maths teacher has been dismissed from a school in Swindon for “transphobic discrimination” after refusing to use a trans student’s correct name and pronouns. 

Kevin Lister is understood to be taking legal action against his former employers, claiming his dismissal was unfair. 

A disciplinary hearing last month upheld three complaints of “gross misconduct” against Lister, that he: “subjected gender-transitioning student” to “transphobic discrimination”, “harassment”, and “refused to use” the student’s preferred name and he/him pronouns.

It followed a 17-year-old A-Level maths student requesting to be referred to by another name and male pronouns rather than female ones used previously.  

Lister reportedly refused to call the student by the new pronouns and wanted to inform the student’s parents, but this was not allowed.  

The 59-year-old told The Mail on Sunday he was concerned that the “out-of-the-blue” request would result in social transition. 

He said: “I wanted at least to make sure that my student had parental support and was making an informed decision.” 

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

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

Lister told The Mail on Sunday he found himself in an “impossible position” and instead of “deadnaming her or supporting transition without parental consent” he would end up “pointing to” the student. 

He claims the trans student also wanted to enter a female maths Olympiad and he wrote the student’s female name on the board instead of the preferred one. 

The 59-year-old shared with the tabloid that some students had accused him of transphobia. Following this, he was suspended in February, pending an inquiry, then escorted off the school grounds.

In a letter by the school’s vice-principal, Lister was told he had “degraded” the students by pointing in class and informed he was “insensitive” by writing the female name on the board relating to the Olympiad. 

The letter announcing his dismissal added: “We acknowledge that you are entitled to your beliefs, however, it is my view that your treatment of [the student] violated his dignity.” 

In an interview with GBNews Lister refers to the establishment he worked at as a college. 

He recalled “trying to plead” with the school referring to a “really dangerous issue”, but said the school “wouldn’t move forward” and he found himself in a “difficult position” due to the college not “seeking parental consent”.