News from Europe

A Swedish Christian teacher was fired following a pronouns dispute

A Swedish Christian teacher, Selma Gamaleldin, faced accusations of discrimination for refusing to address a student identifying as 'non-binary' with the gender-neutral pronoun 'hen', due to her personal belief.


Selma Gamaleldin joined Waldorf Solvikskolan school in Järna in 2020. When informed that a student wished to be addressed with the gender-neutral pronoun ‘hen’, she expressed her refusal to comply with this request because of her beliefs.

Despite discussions between parents, the principal, and Gamaleldin, she was suspended in early 2021. According to Swedish newspaper Bulletin “the parents of the seven-year-old boy at the Waldorf school demanded that she call him ‘hen’, even though the boy himself never expressed any wish for her to do so.”

Eventually, Gamaleldin was fired, but the student’s parents still decided to report the school to the Inspectorate, later passing the case to the Discrimination Ombudsman.

In February 2022 the Discrimination Ombudsman of Sweden ruled it as a severe form of harassment, concluding that her deliberate refusal to use the preferred pronoun was discriminatory. The Ombudsman ordered the school to compensate the student with 150,000 SEK (approximately 15,300 USD).





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