Christian school worker wins tribunal appeal

A Christian teaching assistant has won an appeal against her dismissal over sharing her concerns about sex ed materials at her son’s primary school.

In 2020, an employment tribunal ruled that Kristie Higgs’ Christian views were protected by the Equality Act 2010, but that the school lawfully dismissed her.

But the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London has overturned that ruling and sent the case back to the Bristol Employment Tribunal to be heard again. Higgs is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

Freedom of belief

Mrs Higgs was dismissed for sharing two posts with her Facebook friends after hearing that the LGBT-promoting ‘No Outsiders’ programme was to be taught at the Church of England primary school.

One of the posts focused on a Relationships and Sex Education petition while the second linked to an article critical of books promoting transgenderism to children in schools.

In her judgment, President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal Dame Jennifer Eady said the law backed free speech and religious liberty.

“The freedom to manifest belief (religious or otherwise) and to express views relating to that belief are essential rights in any democracy, whether or not the belief in question is popular or mainstream and even if its expression may offend.”

Anonymous complaint

A single anonymous complaint to her secondary school employer prompted the disciplinary hearing which led to her dismissal.

Farmor’s School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, had said her comments could damage its reputation and dismissed her for gross misconduct.

Also see:

Christian sacked for pro-marriage views settles unfair dismissal case

Teacher sacked after sharing marriage beliefs during staff training

School dismisses Christian over Facebook LGBT posts

Scottish civil servant dismissed over ‘gender views’ seeks employment tribunal

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