A student has claimed he was kicked out of class for saying there are only ‘two genders.’
The 17-year-old pupil who hasn’t been named, secretly filmed his teacher reprimanding him before posting the clip online.
It was then shared thousands of times all over the world, prompting a global debate on transgender rights and free speech.
Now, a leading teacher’s union has defended the 56-year-old teacher, by suggesting the student was likely ’looking for trouble’ in making the comments and filming the aftermath.
Aberdeenshire Council has also weighed in on the debate, insisting the video did not show the full context of the incident, adding that the school’s aim was to ‘support a fairer, inclusive environment for all.’
In the clip, which lasts for three minutes, the teacher explains to the student why he was asked to leave the class after saying his ‘two genders’ proclamation.
He tells the student: ‘You’re entitled to your opinion,’ before the student responds: ‘If I am, then why did you kick me out of class? It’s not very inclusive.’
The teacher then responded: ‘No, I’m sorry, what you were saying is not very inclusive. This is an inclusive school.’
He then goes on to explain how there are more than two genders ‘by law’ and therefore saying there only two genders, the student hadn’t been very ‘inclusive.’
The teacher continues: ‘You were clearly given an opportunity not to pursue it. You chose to do so.’
‘I think it’s silly to have anything other than two genders, sir,’ the male student persists.
The child asks the teacher why staff are allowed to air an opinion, while a pupil is apparently barred from doing so.
The member of staff then points out: ‘I am not putting my opinion out. I am stating what is national school authority policy.’
When the student argues it’s ‘not scientific whatsoever,’ the teacher tells him ‘not every policy is scientific.’
What I believe the teacher was referring to was the difference between sex and gender. While sex is the biological difference between men and women, gender is more to do with an individual’s concept of themselves and their gender identity.
It’s thought the student has been disciplined for sharing the video without the teacher’s consent, rather than for sharing his view.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokesman said, as reported by the MailOnline:
As part of our Public Sector Equality Duty we aim to: eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation; advance equality of opportunity between those who have protected characteristics and those who don’t; and foster good relations between those who have protected characteristics and those who don’t.
It is important to understand the context of any video clip taken without a person’s consent. In our schools, fostering good relations among different groups can be a real challenge but our aim is to support a fairer, inclusive environment for all.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open Mondays and Fridays, 8 pm to midnight and is run by trans volunteers.
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.