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Sacked and vilified – caring teacher who dared to question a girl’s trans demand


WHEN maths teacher Kevin Lister went to work one day in September 2021, he faced a situation that would change his life for the foreseeable future. A 17-year-old female student told him she wanted to be addressed by a male name.

Mr Lister, 60, voiced his concerns to New College Swindon. He inquired if the student’s parents knew about her wishes and whether they approved. He also expressed worries about her potential self-medication with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, actions that would breach the college’s drug policy.

Three days after his safeguarding complaints, college administrators told Mr Lister the student’s parents would not be informed about her name change. Nor would they be informed of their child’s intention to identify as the opposite sex and potentially transition. Their guidelines state that staff should ‘maintain confidentiality and only tell others about the person’s trans status with their permission’.

Mr Lister later told the Daily Mail: ‘Shortly after this, the college’s safeguarding policy was updated to say we had to work in partnership with parents. I was now in a really difficult position. I knew there was no parental consent, but I also knew I would be in trouble for “deadnaming” [using her female name], so when I needed her attention in class, I’d gesture at her – something the college later said was “harassment by pointing”.’

When the student approached him about signing up to a girls-only maths competition, Mr Lister addressed her by her female name, and a classmate complained to the pastoral tutor. Activist teachers accused Mr Lister of ‘transphobia’ and days later, in February 2022, the college suspended him on full pay. A few months later, they sacked him, citing ‘gross misconduct’, and reported him to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for a ‘safeguarding violation’.

It is clear from his testimony that Mr Lister attempted to fulfil his duty of care as a teacher. He dissented from using male pronouns not as a personal protest but because of current guidance, which is both limited and dated. Many will also agree he was using common sense.

Recent FoI requests reveal that Swindon, where Mr Lister taught, has one of the highest gender referral rates in Britain. In 2019, the national average stood at 32 per 100,000 under-18s. For Swindon, it was more than double at 66 per 100,000. This year the council withdrew sex education material after complaints that it was pornographic. 

On GB News in September 2022, Mr Lister said: ‘It almost as though this thing has developed such powerful momentum that it’s difficult to stop it . . . It seems to me, this is just my speculation, that the management of certain schools, certain colleges, have been pushing this transgender model so hard over recent years that for them now to turn round and say “well actually we’ve made a mistake, these people are suffering harm and damage”, it is too much of a liability for them. So the easiest thing for management to do to protect their job is to keep this momentum going and pretend nothing is happening.’

Later he told me: ‘The fact that a minority who believe in nonsense can take control of the institutions that our society depends upon is a sobering lesson. To put this in perspective, our education system, health service, police, political parties, media and unions have all capitulated to this junta of perverts and paedophiles. I now know how the people of Germany must have felt when the Nazis took over and dismantled all the institutions of the state, one after the other.

‘Losing my job and being referred to the DBS as a safeguarding danger is not the hardest thing about this ordeal. The hardest thing is seeing the harm it has caused to young people, seeing the education system being destroyed and seeing society being torn apart.’

Kevin Lister is taking legal action against the college for unfair dismissal, direct discrimination and indirect discrimination. His tribunal date is set for March 2024. He is litigating in person and does not require funds but encourages those willing and able to chip in towards the lawsuit ten parents have initiated against the Department for Education (DfE). In their lawsuit, they allege the department has ‘failed to act to prevent serious harm to children in violation of its own statutory guidance and the law, which prioritises child safeguarding and prohibits political indoctrination’.

You can see details and make a donation here. 

A longer version of this article appeared in The Stark Naked Brief on September 19, 2023, and is republished by kind permission. 

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JJ Starky
JJ Starky
J J Starky is a former political strategist and now a part-time citizen journalist. He is the founder of the Stark Naked Brief.

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