Judgement reserved in Christian school worker's LGBT lessons tribunal

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Kristie HiggsImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Kristie Higgs was dismissed for gross misconduct by Farmor's School in Fairford, Gloucestershire

A tribunal has reserved judgement in the case of a Christian school worker who was sacked for comments criticising LGBT lessons on Facebook.

Kristie Higgs, 44, was dismissed for gross misconduct by Farmor's School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, last year after sharing two posts.

At the employment tribunal in Bristol, she claims her sacking breached her freedom of speech and religion.

The panel is expected to give its decision at a later date.

During three days of evidence, school governor Stephen Conlan, who had chaired Mrs Higgs' disciplinary hearing, said she was dismissed because of the language used in the posts.

He told the tribunal: "We were not concerned with Mrs Higgs's religious beliefs. We were concerned with the manner in which those beliefs were expressed.

"You can post your beliefs without posting this sort of language and it is perfectly possible to communicate your beliefs without using such strong language."

In legal submissions, Debbie Grennan, representing the school, said it had a duty to be "inclusive to all staff and pupils".

'Morally necessary'

Mrs Higgs' posts raised concerns about relationship education at her son's Church of England primary school, which was to teach the No Outsiders in Our School programme.

In one, she shared an article about the rise of transgender ideology in children's books in American schools.

Mrs Higgs told the panel: "As a Christian, I believe it is morally necessary to speak out in defence of the Bible truth when false and harmful doctrines are being promoted.

"I just don't think what I did was wrong on social media. This is what I thought - they are brainwashing our children."

Mrs Higgs was suspended from her role as a pastoral assistant after the school received an anonymous complaint in October 2018. She was later sacked.

Her case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

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