A student said he was kicked out of class after his teacher scolded him for saying there were only two genders.
The teen filmed the teacher on his phone and shared the video online. It then quickly went viral and sparked a debate about transgender rights and free speech.
One teaching union defended the teacher and said the student had only been ‘looking for trouble.’
Aberdeenshire Council said the short clip didn’t show the whole context of what happened and said the school aims to ‘support a fairer, inclusive environment for all.’
The 3-minute clip shows the teacher telling the student why he was asked to leave the class after he had said there were only two genders.
“You’re entitled to your opinion,” the teacher told the student. He then replied: “If I am, then why did you kick me out of class? It’s not very inclusive.”
The teacher then said: “No, I’m sorry, what you were saying is not very inclusive. This is an inclusive school.”
The teacher said that ‘by law,’ there is more than one gender. By saying that there are only two genders, the student hadn’t been ‘inclusive.’
“You were clearly given an opportunity not to pursue it. You chose to do so,” the teacher continued. The student then said: “I think it’s silly to have anything other than two genders, sir.”
The teacher then said: “Could you please keep that opinion to your own house? Not in this school.”
The teen asked why staff can express their opinion while pupils can’t.
“I am not putting my opinion out. I am stating what is national school authority policy,” said the teacher.
The pupil said: “I was simply saying there are two genders – male and female. Anything else is a personal identification.”
The teen had been disciplined for posting the video online without consent. His family and the teacher also declined to comment.
A spokesman for the Aberdeenshire Council said: “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.”
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