A gender-critical maths teacher humiliated, bullied, and harassed a student who identified as male, a tribunal heard.

Kevin Lister has taken New College to an employment tribunal after he was dismissed for gross misconduct in September 2022 in response to complaints from two students.

The 60-year-old had refused to refer to a 17-year-old biologically female student by their preferred male name and he/him pronouns in A-level lessons.

He is now claiming unfair dismissal, discrimination or victimisation on grounds of religion or belief, and that he suffered a detriment and/or dismissal due to exercising rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

The college's student experience manager Charlotte Best gave evidence at the hearing on Wednesday about the formal complaint she investigated and the report about it which she produced for the college's HR department

A teenager referred to at the Bristol hearing as Student A had informed the college in September 2021 that they wished to be addressed by a boy’s name and with the male pronouns.

Mr Lister immediately raised a safeguarding concern because of this request and the student’s academic performance.

Later in the academic year, one of the teenager's friends - referred to as Student B - made a formal complaint about Mr Lister’s conduct.

Mrs Best was questioned by Mr Lister about her findings. She told the hearing: “Your behaviour was unwarranted and repeated, and amounted to harassment and bullying.

“I strongly believe that no student should experience bullying at the hands of their teacher, so I stand by my comments.

“I believe Student A was underperforming and not attending classes because of your conduct towards them.”

That complaint included an occasion when Mr Lister wrote Student A’s birth name – known as a dead name – on a classroom whiteboard during a discussion on whether Student A would be entering a nationwide girls’ maths competition.

On other occasions, Mr Lister would “point” at Student A rather than address them by their preferred name or pronouns, although he said he “gestured”.

Mrs Best referred to the incident with the whiteboard and said: “It created humiliation in the classroom.

“Victimisation – creating negative attitudes and feelings within the classroom.”

Mr Lister previously told the hearing that the decision of Student A to use male pronouns had the effect of “compelled speech” – meaning he and fellow students had to follow their wish, irrespective of their own beliefs.

Referring to this, Mrs Best said: “The student was not questioning your beliefs, they are asking you to respect them, and you could have used gender-neutral terminology.

“I believe your role at the college was to teach maths. It is not for a maths teacher to explain pastoral elements of a college curriculum.”

Continuing his evidence for a second day, Mr Lister denied he had “violated the dignity in a public way and caused the distress” of Student A in the way he interacted with them during lessons.

He said: “She may have felt that but there is no evidence of that.

“I never did that in a public way. The only person I had spoken to was Student B who instructed me to refer to Student A as male under the threat of complaint.”

“I believe the student was immersed in a cult. I believe transgender ideology is a cult and should not be encouraged and supported in schools.”

Mr Lister denied he held “extreme” views after agreeing he believed that if a parent supported their child’s wish to transition, they should be “investigated for Munchausen’s by proxy”.

He added: “It is not my job to push their children towards a Munchausen’s by proxy route."

The hearing continues.