A British Christian school administrator, sacked last year after she expressed concerns on social media about gender and relationship education in primary schools, is suing her former employer for alleged discrimination and harassment on the grounds of her religious beliefs.
In a statement submitted to a Bristol employment tribunal on Monday, Kristie Higgs, a 44-year-old mother who is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, reportedly said she “does not believe in the modern ideas of gender fluidity and transgenderism,” and believes same-sex marriage is “contrary to God’s law.”
Higgs was allegedly sacked for gross misconduct after seven years at Farmor’s School in Gloucestershire, South West England, because she shared two Facebook posts in 2018 with friends and family after becoming concerned about sex and gender education in her son’s Church Of England primary school.
The Facebook posts were anonymously shown to the school, following which Higgs was called to a disciplinary hearing and then sacked for gross misconduct.
“I have been punished for sharing concerns about Relationships and Sex Education,” Higgs said in a statement via Christian organization Christian Concern, of which the Christian Legal Centre is a part.
‘Number One Concern’
Higgs said her “number one concern” was about the effect of sex and gender education in schools on young children.
“I have not discriminated against anyone,” she said.
Higgs holds her views due to her Christian beliefs, she said, which are “shared by hundreds of thousands of parents across the UK.”
“We should have the right to share our concerns so that people can be aware and judge for themselves,” she added.
In one of the two Facebook posts shared in her maiden name, Higgs asked friends and family to sign an online petition against making relationships and sex education (RSE) compulsory in schools. It has since become mandatory in England.
In the other post, she shared a 2017 article by JudyBeth Wagoner, a pro-life Christian writer and political commentator, on the increase of transgender ideas in American schoolbooks.
The petition Higgs promoted in her 2018 Facebook post was titled “Uphold the right of parents to have children educated in line with their religious beliefs.”
It said the move to make sex education compulsory was repressive and anti-Christian.
“The attempted push by LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] activists to make teaching about alternative lifestyles and sexualities compulsory for all children from the age of 4 is a declaration of war against Christianity,” the petition stated.
“It suppresses freedom of belief as enshrined in the Bible and denies the right to free speech.”
It further added that the push for compulsory sex education was against parents’ rights under the European Convention of Human Rights, which requires the state to respect the right of parents to have their children educated in “conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions.”
Higgs said that parents were becoming more aware of what was being taught in schools and called for them to support her stance.
“Parents are waking up now and finding out the truth about what’s really being taught in these schools,” she said.
“I need other parents and people to stand with me.”
Higgs is reportedly seeking 56,000 pounds ($71,200) in damages from Farmor’s School. Her case will be heard in court this week.
“This case is about the freedom to hold Christian views about what it means to be human,” Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said in a statement.
“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.”
Neither Farmor’s School nor the chair of its board of governors had responded to a request for comment by the time of this report.