A SCHOOL pastoral assistant who was dismissed for sharing a Facebook petition against LGBT lessons was fairly sacked, according to an employment tribunal.
In 2018 Kristie Higgs, 44, was fired for gross misconduct by Farmor’s School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, after she shared Facebook posts criticising plans to teach LGBT relationships in primary schools with approximately 100 people in her network. Using her maiden name, the mother of two also raised concerns about relationship education at her son’s Church of England school, where pupils were to learn from the ‘No Outsiders in Our School’ programme.
An anonymous complaint was made to the school and Mrs Higgs was sacked after a disciplinary hearing. Mrs Higgs, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, took the school to an employment tribunal arguing she had been unlawfully discriminated against because of her Christian beliefs. The Bristol tribunal concluded that her dismissal was related not to her professed beliefs but to the fact that her posts could be perceived as meaning that she held unacceptable views about gay and trans people.
Employment judge Derek Reed ruled that Mrs Higgs’s dismissal was the result of a genuine belief on the part of the school that she had committed gross misconduct, adding that ‘the entire proceedings taken against Mrs Higgs were motivated by a concern on the part of the school that, by reason of her posts, she would be perceived as holding unacceptable views in relation to gay and trans people – views which in fact she vehemently denied that she did hold’.
Mrs Higgs argued that her dismissal breached her freedom of speech and freedom of religion. However, headteacher Matthew Evans told the tribunal his priority was to uphold ‘confidence’ in the school.
Yet surely Mrs Higgs was more than justified in sharing her concerns about ‘No Outsiders’, a Relationships and Sex Education programme written by gay activist Andrew Moffat MBE, the subversive intent of which was exposed by Belinda Brown in these pages a year ago.
Though Mrs Higgs’s religious beliefs should be protected under the 2010 Equality Act, it seems that expressing any views – apart from the fulsomely complimentary – on any issues involving sexual diversity has now been ruled as against the law. No crime was committed by her, and there was nothing to complain of in her conduct, but she was still dismissed for ‘misconduct’ – ‘gross’, to boot. This must be seen as a blank cheque for any boss to get rid of anyone on the basis that ‘someone’ might be offended by ‘something’ they said. And an open door for the LGBTQ zealots who appear to have taken over sex education in our primary schools.