A Christian school in Britain fired a pastoral assistant who posted online her objections to the transgender lessons being taught at her son's Church of England school.
The Farmor's School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, fired Kristie Higgs after she urged her Facebook followers to sign a petition against the government's relationships and sex education, which goes into effect in September 2020. The United Kingdom Department of Education's new guidelines dubbed "No Outsiders" would require children as young as 5 to receive LGBT lessons about relationships and gender reassignment.
On Tuesday, a disciplinary panel dismissed the 43-year-old mother, who worked at a separate school from the primary school her young son attended, after it found her guilty of "gross misconduct" and "illegal discrimination," the Christian Legal Centre said in a press release.
What did she write on Facebook?
Higgs wrote on her personal Facebook page that children are being brainwashed by educators. She asked other parents to sign the petition that she shared.
"Please sign this petition, they have already started to brainwash our innocent wonderfully created children and its [sic] happening in our local primary school now," she wrote, according to a press release the Christian Legal Centre sent to TheBlaze.
"Which means, for example, that children will be taught that all relationships are valid and 'normal,' so that same sex marriage is exactly the same as traditional marriage, and that gender is a matter of choice, not biology, so that it's up to them what sex they are," Higgs wrote.
"At the same time it means that expressing and teaching fundamental Christian beliefs, relating to the creation of men and women and marriage, will in practice become forbidden — because they conflict with the new morality and are seen as indoctrination into unacceptable religious bigotry," Higgs added.
In a separate post, the mother of two also voiced her objections to a pair of children's books at her son's school which feature LGBT stories. One story is about a boy who wants to wear a dress and the other is about a red crayon that learns it's really a blue crayon.
The panel determined Tuesday that Higgs' comments "could bring the school into disrepute and damage the reputation of the school," according to the press release.
Higgs had worked at the secondary school for six years before her firing. Her employee record was unblemished up to her firing.
Was she fired because of her Christian beliefs?
Higgs, who is challenging her firing, said she believes she was fired because of her Christian faith and beliefs. She is represented by the Christian Legal Centre.
"I have been punished for sharing concerns about Relationships and Sex Education. I hold these views because of my Christian beliefs, beliefs and views which are shared by hundreds of thousands of parents across the UK," she said in a statement via Christian Legal Centre. "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."
"As soon as the investigation into the posts began I was repeatedly told: 'this is nothing to do with your religion.' That was clearly a legal tactic and of course it has everything to do with my religion," she continued. "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."
The school claims it received a single email complaint about Higgs' comments. The complainant accused the woman of "posting homophobic and prejudiced views."
"We concluded that no action was taken because of your religion," the disciplinary panel said, according to the Christian Legal Centre. "The disciplinary occurred for reasons other than your religion."
"As an inclusive employer, Farmor's school recognizes and protects the statutory rights of its staff," the panel said. "Such rights however are not absolute and we are concerned that you did not demonstrate an appropriate understanding of the school's requirement to respect and tolerate the views of others and to role model such behavior."
The panel admitted that no damage had occurred to the school because of Higgs' Facebook posts.
"Regarding bringing the school into disrepute … we agree that there is no direct evidence that as a matter of fact that the reputation of the school has been damaged to date," the panel said in its decision.
Muslim parents at a Birmingham school have also protested against the "No Outsiders" program, which some have called indoctrination.
"This is nothing but indoctrination of our children," Razina Mahmood, 40, told the Sun in an earlier interview. "You are using our children as an experiment."