A school has sacked a Christian member of staff after she posted online protests against transgender teaching at her son’s primary.
Kristie Higgs, 43, was a pastoral assistant at a Gloucestershire academy but a disciplinary panel there decided that she had used language which demeaned its gay, lesbian and transgender pupils.
The mother-of-two, who had worked at the secondary school for six years with an unblemished record, posted objections on her personal Facebook page to the use of two children’s books at her son’s Church of England primary.
Kristie Higgs, 43, was a pastoral assistant at a Gloucestershire academy. She had worked at the secondary school for six years with an unblemished record
She also invited her Facebook followers to sign a petition against compulsory sex education in primary schools, which is to be introduced next year.
Mrs Higgs’ sacking from Farmor’s School, in Fairford, Gloucestershire, came after a sole anonymous email complaint which accused her of ‘posting homophobic and prejudiced views’.
A disciplinary panel found she was guilty of gross misconduct because there was ‘potential’ for the school’s reputation to be harmed, though the panel admitted ‘there was no actual evidence’ that this had happened.
Mrs Higgs said her Christian views on sex education were ‘shared by hundreds of thousands’ of parents.
‘As soon as the investigation began I was repeatedly told “This is nothing to do with your religion”. That was clearly a legal tactic and of course it has everything to do with my religion.’ She is to take her case to an employment tribunal.
The primary school attended by Mrs Higgs’ son attracted her disapproval after it adopted ‘No Outsiders’ teaching about sexual minorities. The same programme has generated a row between schools and Muslim parents in Birmingham.
The primary school attended by Mrs Higgs’ son attracted her disapproval after it adopted ‘No Outsiders’ teaching about sexual minorities
Books given to the children included involved stories about a boy who wants to wear a dress and a red crayon that discovers it is really blue.
Mrs Higgs had said on her Facebook page: ‘They are brainwashing our children! We say again, this is a vicious form of totalitarianism aimed at suppressing Christianity.’
A disciplinary panel said Mrs Higgs had used language which ‘could be deemed offensive’.
It also found that her posts ‘had caused offence to the complainant’.
The Christian Legal Centre, which is backing Mrs Higgs’ case said: ‘This is all about the freedom of a Christian to hold biblical views.’