The story was a big one and the "talk of the town" in Christian circles. A maths teacher was deregistered for refusing to use false pronouns and names for a 14 year old girl who was being transitioned by the school. We now have access to the Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal decision. Let's go through the facts and then give some analysis and post-mortem advice.
The names of the teacher, student, school, and town are redacted and permanently suppressed by the tribunal. It's possible they could be appealed, but for now we don't know who this teacher is and couldn't say if we did. The decision states that it was the principal who instructed him to use the fake pronouns and name, and that a "mandatory report" was made to the Teachers Council by the principal after the complaint had been laid by the girl and the teacher resigned.
What is conspicuously absent is any reference to the girl's parents or family.
Based on the accepted facts, the teacher made no moral errors, however he did make endless deliberate tactical blunders in his defence.
The first oddity that surprised me is that the teacher does not argue from a position of his speech rights and religious freedom. His style is evangelical. His theology and morality is correct. His arguments to the tribunal focus entirely on why LGBT is morally wrong.
The teacher taught at the school from 2019-2021, but it is not clear how long he had been registered as a teacher. It's clear he is an evangelical Christian and all his Bible quotations are from the NASB version. He quotes from the Bible extensively to the tribunal, which again is strange. The rules of the organisation are openly anti-Christian.
He rightly argues that he would have been guilty of serious misconduct and child abuse if he had called this girl by a boy's name. However, we live in an inverted world and he does not take into account that child abuse is mandatory by the rules of the Teacher Council. He rightly argues that he cannot be compelled to use a name for someone that is not their legal name. The tribunal responds to this by saying that the teacher would use nicknames for students, like "Matt" for "Matthew", but this is irrelevant. Can you compel a teacher to use a nickname? That seems legally tenuous.
Both names and pronouns are important. They both have vital meanings expressing reality. Don't give an inch.
He establishes that New Zealand was founded as Christian nation and that Christianity is foundational to this country. Compelling him to lie about a child's gender goes against his Christian belief. True, but the rules of the Teachers Council are based on the deconstruction of everything our country was founded on.
He argues that by starting the use of the wrong pronouns and name would progressively harm the student. Would she be put on puberty blockers? Have her breasts cut off? Womb removed? These would be irreversible and harmful to her.
This is where he makes the strangest argument: that after taking a boy's name the next step would be homosexuality and "down the path of sin" as he allegedly said to the student. He's probably right, from the opposite angle of the TERFs. The radical feminists view transgenderism as "lesbian erasure" where girls who would probably turn out to be butch lesbians get turned into butchered lesbians. However, in recent years (perhaps post-2019) it has been made clear that there is a very high rate of sterilisation involved in gender transition. The link between gender theory and sexual perversion is very strong though, so from a Christian view the link is morally correct to make. He ties this agenda to abortion and the destruction of the family, which again is correct.
However, this is an odd argument to make to the Teachers Council which has rules that tend toward state-enforced homosexuality. The family is the enemy of the Teachers Council.
The tribunal ruled that his response caused "significant concern" to them and was the reason they deregistered him, as he would likely behave the same way if he worked at another school.
Teachers are expected to impart religious instruction of some kind whether the official religion of the school is Christian or LGBT. His behaviour would be perfectly acceptable and even expected if he were to teach at a Christian or Muslim school.
His crime was to teach the wrong religion for the school he was at and being too zealous with the Teachers Council by attempting to evangelise them.
Christian schools always need more good Christian teachers. It's sad to see him throw away his registration in a blaze of martyrdom. This story is also a reminder that Christian schools cannot allow fifth columns to develop or you'll see these types of attacks come from within in the near future.
It's admirable that he was concerned about the harm to this poor girl, but he should have realised that the point of the Teachers Council is to harm students and simply focused on his own defence.
Had he simply responded to the allegations with one sentence then the case would have been dropped: "I expressed my Christian beliefs to the student, as is my legal right, out of a genuine concern for her wellbeing." The end.