17-Year-Old Who Recorded Viral Video Telling Teacher There Are Only ‘Two Genders’ is Kicked Out of School
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First, the 17-year-old earned a three-week suspension after recording a viral video of him telling a teacher there are only “two genders.”
But now the teen is no longer allowed to attend Mearns Academy in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the Evening Standard reported.
Citing an interview with the boy, the paper said the flap erupted when his teacher complained about a website that provided only two gender options and “how old fashioned” that was — and the student spoke up: “But, sir, there’s only two genders.”
“He instantly snapped back and said, ‘Are you really going to go there?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, there’s two genders,’ and he said, ‘Murray, if you want to have this discussion, we can have it outside,'” the student said, according to the Evening Standard.
Outside the classroom, the student hit record on his cellphone just prior to the teacher joining him — and their argument was captured for posterity.
“You’re entitled to your opinion,” the teacher said.
“If I am, then why did you kick me out of class?” the student shot back. “That’s not very inclusive.”
“You aren’t being inclusive,” the teacher argued, adding that “this is an inclusive school.”
The teacher added that the student’s notion that there aren’t any other genders except male or female “is not inclusive.”
The student started arguing again, but the teacher interrupted by saying “you’re choosing to make an issue of this” and that the student had an “opportunity to keep quiet.”
When the student continued arguing the two-genders-only point, the teacher grew flustered and asked, “Could you please keep that opinion to your own house? Thank you. Not in this school.”
But the student didn’t. In fact, he pressed on, saying it’s unfair that the teacher got to state his opinion in class but the student was silenced.
“I am not putting my opinion out,” the teacher replied. “I am stating what is national school authority policy, OK?”
But when the student argued that the more-than-two-genders policy “isn’t scientific whatsoever,” the still-flustered teacher offered that “not every policy is scientific.”
“Take this somewhere else …” the teacher soon added. “The authority’s point of view is very clear … that we make no discrimination on the grounds of—”
Then the student cut off the teacher: “I’m not making any discrimination. I’m simply saying there are two genders. Male and female.”
“I’m sorry,” the teacher said, “but you chose to make an issue of making a point which was contrary to policy.” The teacher added in a lower voice that the student is “making bad choices.”
The student said he first earned a weeklong suspension for recording his teacher, which he said wasn’t a surprise since he knew about that rule, the paper said.
The school “emphasized that I wasn’t getting into trouble for what I said” on the video about two genders only, the student also noted, according to the Evening Standard.
He then said the school soon extended the suspension by another two weeks and told him he could return after summer break, the paper said.
“We got called back in for another meeting, and they said after having lots of talks with people higher up [that] it’s not OK for me to finish my education at that school effectively, and they told me there’s no chance I can return,” the student said, the Evening Standard reported.
But an Aberdeenshire council spokesperson said the student wasn’t “permanently excluded from Mearns Academy” as he’d “reached the end of his time in compulsory education,” which ends at age 16 in Scotland, the paper said.
“Staff from the school are working hard to ensure that the young man has a positive future placement either in further education or in an area that he chooses,” the spokesperson added to the Evening Standard.
The student said he’s unsure what path to take at this point and is worried a new school might ask Mearns Academy for a reference: “This won’t just affect me in this school; this could affect me in getting into another school as well,” he noted, according to the paper, adding that the circumstance is “definitely a big speed bump in my life at the moment.”