A Christian school assistant has been sacked after opposing plans to make teaching about LGBT relationships mandatory in primary schools.
Kristie Higgs, 43, was removed as a Christian secondary school pastoral assistant after she started a petition on her Facebook page trying to mobilize parents against plans to introduce compulsory sex education in all primary schools in the UK.
The Guardian reports: Higgs, who had worked at Farmor’s school in Fairford, Gloucestershire, for six years, posted objections to the use of two children’s books at her son’s Church of England primary school on her Facebook page.
She invited her Facebook followers to sign a petition against compulsory sex education in primary schools, due to be introduced next year.
It comes as some teachers call for lessons on age-appropriate LGBT relationships to be made compulsory in primary schools in England, amid continuing opposition from some parents at schools in Birmingham and Manchester.
Under new guidance on relationships and sex education (RSE), the government has said pupils should be taught about LGBT relationships in secondary schools, but has left it up to primaries to decide on the issue.
On Tuesday, however, members of the National Education Union, holding their annual conference in Liverpool, voted in favour of a motion to lobby government to strengthen RSE guidance and make teaching about LGBT relationships compulsory at all stages of the curriculum.
A disciplinary procedure against Higgs was initiated after an anonymous complaint was made against her. In the email, sent to Farmor’s school, the complainant accused her of “posting homophobic and prejudiced views”.
Two months after the complaint was made, a disciplinary panel found Higgs guilty of gross misconduct, citing the potential for the school’s reputation to be harmed, though the panel admitted “there was no actual evidence” that had happened.
Higgs wrote the social media posts after her son’s primary school announced it would be introducing the No Outsiders programme to its curriculum. It has attracted controversy in Birmingham after Muslim parents objected, and has been suspended in six schools in the area until a consultation takes place between schools and parents.
Higgs, who has now removed her son from the No Outsiders lessons at his primary school, said her Christian views on sex education were shared by hundreds of thousands of parents.
She said: “My number one concern has always been the effect that learning about sex and gender in school will have on children at such a young age.
“I am determined to fight this case and to stand for Christians and all parents across the country who are being silenced for sharing and holding these views.”
Higgs is taking legal action against the academy for unfair dismissal and discrimination, and is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.