Calling non-binary students he or she could land you in court, warn teachers' union

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is calling for compulsory gender diversity training for those in sixth form college and further education to avoid individuals using “incorrect” pronouns. 

Leslie Tipping, ATL Wales president, said: “Lecturers could be put in quite an embarrassing position if they address someone as a he who is a she or neither a he or a she.”

She said, without training, staff “could end up with legal issues”. 

Bangor university student Jasper Williams, said staff “struggled” when he declared himself transgender. 

Mr Williams, a LGBT officer for NUS Wales, told BBC News: “One sixth form teacher couldn’t get anything that wasn’t male or female. 

“He made comments making it sound like non-binary genders were made up and like a fantasy idea. 

“The other teachers were fine but struggled with it.” 

Mr Williams, 22, said staff “messed up a lot” despite the college being led by a “liberal and encouraging” head teacher. 

He added: “There was a massive lack of education on that part.” 

Fourteen further education colleges in Wales have underwent “gender diversity” training, with three reporting an increase in the number of students identifying as transgender, non-binary or gender fluid. 

Andrew White, director of Stonewall Cymru added: “We know that the majority of staff want to tackle transphobic bullying, however, most haven’t received any specific training on how to do this.” 

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