Jennie Cain

Jennie, a school receptionist was helped by the Legal Defence Fund to sue her employers for religious discrimination following a dispute over a prayer email.

With the help of the LDF Jennie secured an undisclosed payment and settled out of court.

The dispute began in January 2009 when Mrs Cain’s daughter Jasmine, then aged five, was reprimanded by her class teacher for talking about her Christian faith to another child.

On hearing that her daughter had been reprimanded for expressing her faith, Mrs Cain sent a private email to church friends and family asking them to pray about the incident. The email was sent from Mrs Cain’s home computer, outside work time, using her personal email account.

This email ended up in the hands of the school’s head teacher who launched an investigation against Mrs Cain for professional misconduct. She was told to stay away from her job for nearly four months before receiving a written warning over the affair.

In August 2009 Mrs Cain launched an Employment Tribunal claim for religious discrimination, harassment and victimisation – backed by The Christian Institute.

The claim was brought against the governing body of Landscore Primary School and the school’s head teacher. A claim was also brought against Devon County Council for aiding the discrimination.

Sean Kehoe, senior partner of the law firm Advance Legal who represented Mrs Cain, said: “No one ever seemed able to answer the simple question of what exactly Jennie had done wrong.

“We say there is an undercurrent of anti-Christian sentiment which she has come up against. If she had been from another religious background, nothing would have happened.”

Speaking after her win Jennie said: “We all agree that Christians should be treated with the same sensitivity and respect that is shown to people of all faiths and none.”.

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