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Christian school worker appeals sacking over LGBT sex education petition

by Heather Preston

A Christian teaching assistant who lost an employment tribunal after alleging she was fired due to her religious beliefs is appealing her case.

Kristie Higgs was dismissed from C of E Farmor's School in Fairford, Gloucestershire in 2019 after she shared a petition against the schools compulsory teaching on LGBT+ relationships and sex education on Facebook.

Higgs, who's child attended the school, was told that her Christian views expressed in the posts were akin to that of a "pro-Nazi right-wing extremist" and she was dismissed for gross misconduct.

In October 2020, a judge ruled that, despite Mrs Higgs’ posts not being ‘homophobic’ or ‘transphobic’, the school was justified in sacking her because others could perceive them to be so.

She will challenge her dismissal in a two-day appeal hearing that will begin on Thursday 16 March.

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, Higgs will argue that the Employment Tribunal has "demonstrated a manifestly incorrect understanding of freedom of speech."

It comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's announcement that a government review of sex education in schools would be fast-tracked to "ensure" they do not contain "inappropriate or contested" lessons, which are now compulsory for all children.

The appeal hearing, which was set for July 2022 was postponed after it was discovered trans activist Edward Lord - who is associated with gender ideology groups Mermaids and Stonewall - was set to sit on the cases panel.

After it was found that Lord had made a number of public statements relating to restricting free speech around issues of LGBT ideology and transgenderism, the President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal forced him to recuse himself from Higgs' case.

Speaking ahead of the hearing, Higgs said: “I am relieved that the opportunity to appeal is here. Over four years on I am continuing to fight for justice. In that time there has been so many disturbing revelations about transgender ideology in schools and children being taught inappropriate sex education.

“Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to believe that I lost the job I loved because of my Christian beliefs.

“I shared these posts as a mother who was deeply concerned about the compulsory sex education being forced on my 9-year-old son at a Church of England primary school. These views were compared to that of a ‘pro-Nazi right wing extremist’, which is highly offensive to me and millions of Christians across the world.

“I have to continue to fight for justice so that no one else has to go through what I have. I want parents to have the freedom to bring their children up in line with their Christian beliefs, I want young children to be protected from this harmful ideology. Christians must also to be able to share their opinions and beliefs without fear of losing their jobs.”

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