Chaplain reported to anti-terror unit for challenging LGBT ideology will appeal case

A school chaplain who was reported to the Government’s counter-terrorism unit and sacked for a sermon encouraging pupils to debate gender ideology, plans to appeal an Employment Tribunal ruling.

Revd Dr Bernard Randall took Nottingham’s Trent College to court for discrimination, harassment, victimisation and unfair dismissal, after he was sacked and later reinstated with a written warning over a sermon he delivered in 2019. He was subsequently made redundant a year later.

The Tribunal claimed he was a ‘safeguarding risk’ and that school officials were “justified” in referring him to the Government’s Prevent programme. The Tribunal also ruled that his redundancy was due to the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Smash heteronormativity’

In her ruling, Judge Victoria Butler claimed Dr Randall “takes an extreme view” of LGBT activist group Educate & Celebrate, which gave Trent College staff training in 2018 on how they could embed “gender identity and sexual orientation” into the boarding school.

She described the group’s attempt to get staff to chant “smash heteronormativity” as “simply an enthusiastic attempt” to “warm up the teachers at the outset of the day”, and said there was no evidence the group would “indoctrinate pupils”.

Dr Randall delivered his sermon in response to students’ concerns over the LGBT-promoting group’s involvement in the independent school, which exists to educate according to “the Protestant and Evangelical principles of the Church of England”.

He explained that “when ideologies compete, we should not descend into abuse, we should respect the beliefs of others, even where we disagree”, saying: “no one should be told they must accept an ideology. Love the person, even where you profoundly dislike the ideas”.

Truth

Responding to the Employment Tribunal’s ruling, Dr Randall said “it is a blow for all those who believe in freedom of speech, in freedom of religion, and in an educational system which opens the minds of young people rather than narrowing them or imposing an ideology that many or most in our society find troubling”.

He told The Mail on Sunday: “But we must not give up because of one setback. I want our generation’s children and children’s children to grow up in a society where truth can be maintained over the ugly divisiveness of identity politics.”

Dr Randall is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

The little book of non-violent extremists

The little book of non-violent extremists

This little booklet makes the big point that some non-violent ‘extremists’ turn out to be heroic people of global significance. The Government wants to introduce a law to silence non-violent extremists who show “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values”. Our little list of heroes could easily have breached this threshold were it in place in their day.

‘Extremism’

Last month, a review of the Government’s controversial counter-terrorism strategy discovered that Prevent had flagged material, which “falls well short of the extremism threshold”.

According to reports, the programme categorised C S Lewis, J R R Tolkien, George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, and BBC’s Great British Railway Journeys as potentially ‘radicalising’ to audiences.

Also see:

Megaphone

Child who wanted to give ‘alms’ to the poor reported to Prevent

Counter-extremism tsar says Govt’s definition restricts free speech

Kids who go to badger protests may be considered extremists

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