School employee fired for claim LGBT education is ‘brainwashing’ children
A Gloucestershire school is facing legal action after dismissing an employee who claimed that LGBT+ education is “brainwashing” and “indoctrination.”
Kristie Higgs had been a pastoral assistant at Farmor’s School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, but was fired for gross misconduct after making a number of anti-LGBT posts on social media.
In one Facebook post in October 2018, Higgs shared a link to a blog from a US far-right activist that claims: “The LBGT crowd with the assistance of the progressive school systems are destroying the minds of normal children by promoting mental illness.
“Delusional thinking is a form of psychotic thinking, and we have professionals promoting it to our young kids.”
Kristie Higgs claimed relationships education is LGBT ‘brainwashing’
In another post to Facebook she shared a petition from anti-LGBT website CitizenGo, calling on Education Secretary Damian Hinds to “stop supporting LGBT indoctrination” in schools.
She wrote: “THEY ARE BRAINWASHING OUR CHILDREN!”
“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.”
The post claimed: “Children will be taught that all relationships are equally valid and ‘normal’, so that same sex marriage is exactly the same as traditional marriage.”
After complaints to the school, Higgs was dismissed for “serious inappropriate use of social media” and “online comments that could bring the school into disrepute and damage the reputation of the school.”
However, Higgs claims that the action against her LGBT brainwashing claims amounts to discrimination based on her religious beliefs.
Lawsuit supported by anti-LGBT lobbying group
Higgs launched a legal challenge via Christian Legal Centre on Monday (April 15), which is the legal arm of anti-LGBT lobbying group Christian Concern.
The group frequently defends clients accused of anti-LGBT conduct, with one client let off of misconduct charges in 2018 over posts that claimed gay people are “worthy of death.”
Christian Concern has also vowed to oppose a ban on gay cure therapy, and has backed calls for ‘freedom to discriminate’ protections for religious people who oppose LGBT+ rights.
In a statement via Christian Concern, Higgs said: “I hold these views because of my Christian beliefs, beliefs and views which are shared by hundreds of thousands of parents across the UK.
“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.”
She added: “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.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre and co-director of gay cure advocacy group Core Issues Trust, said: “This case is about the freedom to hold Christian views about what it means to be human.”
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She added: “What Kristie shared on Facebook simply reflects the genuine and justified concerns of a parent about the sexual ideology currently being imposed on her own children and thousands of children across the UK.
“Kristie has not only lost her job, but her whole career is now tarnished with the accusation that for holding these views she is now a danger to vulnerable children.”
The school told Higgs that “no action was taken because of your religion” and that the disciplinary occurred “for reasons other than your religion.”
The academy added: “As an inclusive employer, Farmor’s school recognises and protects the statutory rights of its staff. 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 behaviour.”