Gloucestershire

Fairford school worker 'sacked for view on LGBT teaching'

Kristie Higgs
Image caption Kristie Higgs said she had been punished for sharing concerns about relationships education

A school assistant has been sacked after reacting to plans for teaching LGBT relationships in primary schools.

Kristie Higgs, 43, was dismissed for gross misconduct by Farmor's School in Fairford, Gloucestershire.

She shared and commented on Facebook posts which raised concerns about relationship education at her son's Church of England primary school.

The academy dismissed her for reasons including illegal discrimination.

She said she had been punished for sharing concerns about relationship education.

"I hold these views because of my Christian beliefs - beliefs and views which are shared by hundreds of thousands of parents across the UK.

Image copyright Facebook
Image caption In a Facebook post Ms Higgs urged people to sign an online petition against making relationships education mandatory

"My number one concern has always been the effect that learning about sex and gender in school will have on children at such a young age."

Several schools in Birmingham have recently suspended teaching about LGBT rights following protests.

Last week, Education Secretary Damian Hinds wrote to primary school head teachers encouraging them to teach children about LGBT issues if they "consider it age appropriate", and saying parents could not veto what is taught.

'Damage reputation'

In one Facebook post, Ms Higgs urged people to sign an online petition against making relationships education mandatory.

In another she shared an article about the rise of transgender ideology in children's books in American schools.

The Christian Legal Centre said the school where she worked carried out an investigation and concluded Ms Higgs should be dismissed for "illegal discrimination", "serious inappropriate use of social media" and "online comments that could bring the school into disrepute and damage the reputation of the school".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The academy said Ms Higgs was dismissed "for reasons other than your religion"

The centre said it was helping with Ms Higgs' legal challenge for unfair dismissal and discrimination.

The academy told Ms Higgs she was dismissed "for reasons other than your religion".

It said the statutory rights of its staff were "not absolute".

It added: "We are concerned you did not demonstrate an appropriate understanding of the school's requirement to respect and tolerate the views of others and to role model such behaviour".

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