Tory MP Nick Fletcher wants pronouns taken out of all schools: ‘We’re confusing people’
Tory MP Nick Fletcher has said pronouns are a “problem” and should be removed from schools completely to “protect children”.
His comments were made during an interview with Times Radio, where he was asked whether education secretary Gillian Keegan should get involved in the case of Joshua Sutcliffe: a 33-year-old maths teacher banned from the classroom by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) because of a number of misconduct allegations, including misgendering a trans student.
Stating that Keegan should step in, Fletcher added: “I think we should take pronouns out of all schools. Teaching unfact-based ideologies to children at school is not what we should be doing, and pronouns is part of that problem.”
Times Radio host Aasmah Mir then asked the MP for Don Valley, in South Yorkshire, if it would be possible to keep pronouns, but not find people guilty of misgendering.
Claiming that it was “asking people to lie” and confused them, Fletcher said: “[No]. I don’t think we should keep the pronouns in there. We shouldn’t be doing that, it’s not right.”
Fletcher went on to say that school pupils should only be referred according to the sex on their birth certificate and observed at birth.
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“When people get to 18, if they want to make that decision [to use gender-affirming pronouns] that’s entirely up to them,” he added.
Fletcher, who has been an MP since 2019, claimed his views are about protecting children, single-sex spaces and sport – echoing anti-trans and gender-critical activists’ beliefs.
What did Christian teacher Josh Sutcliffe do?
The case against Sutcliffe had been under review by TRA since January. He faced allegations of misgendering a trans student, which he admitted, claimed that using a child’s preferred pronouns went against his religious beliefs. He misgendered a pupil at the school where he taught and during an interview on ITV’s This Morning programme.
In addition, he was alleged to have stated that same-sex marriage was wrong.
As reported by the Telegraph, the TRA ruled it was “more probable than not” that he publically misgendered the pupil from The Cherwell School, in Oxford, failed to treat them with “dignity and respect” and protect their wellbeing.
All complaints against him were upheld, which resulted in his ban from teaching, the news outlet said.
The decision was made by the TRA’s chief executive, Alan Meyrick, on behalf of the education secretary.
Sutcliffe has vowed to appeal the outcome of the case.
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