A senior teacher says he was ‘treated like a paedophile’ and faced being banned from the profession over a science lesson about puberty that upset children with gender identity issues.
Roy Huggins, 54, a history teacher with more than 30 years’ experience, was asked to fill in for an absent colleague to teach a class of 11 and 12-year-olds.
He read from a national curriculum textbook about the physical changes to the bodies of boys and girls during puberty and provided some additional explanation to help the pupils understand. He believed the lesson went well.
But unknown to Mr Huggins there were at least two pupils in the Year 7 class who were ‘diagnosed with gender dysphoria’ and several pupils later lodged complaints about ‘inappropriate’ comments he made in the lesson which caused offence.
Instead of simply discussing the problem with Mr Huggins to avoid a repeat, the school reported him to the local authority safeguarding body which deals with allegations against adults working with children.
To his relief Mr Huggins was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing and he said the authority even ‘criticised the school.’
But not satisfied with the conclusion, the headteacher at Retford Oaks Academy in Nottinghamshire then referred Mr Huggins to the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), which has the power to ban teachers from working with children.
It triggered a ‘nightmare’ two months during which the married father-of-two and grandfather became ‘suicidal’ as a reputation built up over decades at the top of his profession was put at risk.
He blamed his treatment on a culture at the school for ‘pushing a radical agenda.’
Last week he received notification from the DBS that he was in the clear as there was no case to answer, but he decided to publicly reveal details of his ordeal as a warning of what can happen to teachers treading through today’s gender identity minefield.