School backs down after disciplining worker for Christian views

A school has apologised to a member of staff, after disciplining her for expressing Christian views on same-sex relationships.

Victoria Allen, a 51-year-old teaching assistant, was asked what she thought of gay marriage during an English lesson at Brannel School in St Austell, Cornwall.

She responded by saying she did not approve of same-sex relationships, and that she was unhappy that the biblical symbol of the rainbow is used to represent gay rights.

Disciplinary action

According to The Sunday Times, the 14-year-old pupil who asked the question was not offended by the answer, but when pressed by the school he agreed that he felt ‘uneasy’.

Allen was given a written warning for not following the school’s ‘equal opportunities policy’, and a subsequent complaint by the boy’s mother led to disciplinary action being taken.

The teaching assistant threatened to take the school to court but the dispute was settled behind closed doors.


A joint statement reads: “The parties accept that some people have deeply held views about the nature of marriage, and that every individual has the freedom to express these in accordance with the law. The School also respects that Victoria Allen’s view that marriage should be between a man and a woman is sincerely held and shared by many others.”

It added that: “Both parties reaffirm their commitment to the long-standing British values of freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of association with mutual respect for the dignity and rights and freedoms of others, including the right of Victoria Allen to express her views.”

Speaking afterwards, Allen said she was made to feel “like a criminal” for expressing her Christian beliefs.

“If a child asks my personal opinion I feel I should give it”, she added.

Biblical view

Libby Powell, a lawyer from the Christian Legal Centre, which represented Allen, said: “We know that there are lots of people who disagree with the Biblical view of marriage and they are free to disagree.

“What we want to say is that there has to be space for the other point of view, Vicky’s point of view, to be there as well.”

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