A math teacher has been suspended for complimenting the hard work of two female students. The problem? One of them prefers to be considered a boy, and he used the wrong word.
British newspapers report the 27-year-old teacher, Joshua Sutcliffe, made the mistake of complimenting the teens for doing a good job by saying, "Well done girls."
The one transgender teen apparently took offense at the teacher's encouragement, prompting the parents to call the school in outrage.
Sutcliffe apologized for mislabeling the teen but he was still suspended and now faces losing his job.
According to the Daily Mail, school officials investigated the matter and called Sutcliffe to a formal disciplinary hearing this week to face misconduct charges for "misgendering."
The school claims he was also out of line with their "equality policies" when he referred to the teens by name rather than using male pronouns.
Sutcliffe, who is a Christian, admits that because of his deep faith he avoided using male pronouns such as "he" and "him" when applauding the students' good work.
He says, "I wanted to incorporate this student into the class, welcome her..."
Sutcliffe says he referred to her by her first name instead of using "him" because he was coming from a "place of personal conviction."
He says the student was once receiving very poor grades, but when he noticed her rise in scores he simply wanted to praise her for making strides.
"I thought I was doing my job as you would expect from a math teacher," he says.