An anti-LGBT+ school worker who lost her job after attacking inclusive education “brainwashing” told an employment tribunal she was defending the “Bible truth” and was discriminated against for being a Christian.
Kristie Higgs, 44, had been employed at Farmor’s School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, for seven years, but was sacked for gross misconduct in 2018 over Facebook rants about LGBT+ inclusive education.
In one post, sharing a petition from anti-LGBT+ lobbying group CitizenGo, Higgs accused schools of “BRAINWASHING OUR CHILDREN” [sic] through inclusive relationships education, claiming: “[This] means, for example, that children will be taught that all relationships are equally 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 described inclusive education as a “vicious form of totalitarianism”, adding: “Please sign this petition, they have already started to brainwash our innocent wonderfully created children and it’s happening in our local primary school now.”
The school assistant was suspended, subjected to a disciplinary proceeding and eventually sacked for gross misconduct for failing to adhere to the “school’s requirement to respect and tolerate the views of others and to role model such behaviour”.
But this week, Higgs announced that she would be taking legal action against Farmor’s School, claiming that she was subjected to discrimination and harassment on the grounds of her religious beliefs.
She is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, an offshoot of the anti-LGBT+ lobbying group Christian Concern that often provides pro bono legal representation to people who have made extreme homophobic comments.
On the first day (21 September) of her case against the school at Bristol Employment Tribunal, Higgs submitted a statement defending her anti-LGBT+ behaviour.
According to The Guardian, she wrote in the statement: “I was concerned that a lot of parents all over the country and the world simply did not know what was going on.
“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 believe that God created mankind as ‘male and female’ and what he has created is good.
“He does not make mistakes. I therefore do not believe in the modern ideas of gender fluidity and transgenderism. I did not think much about this issue until it was brought up in my younger son’s primary school.
“I am aware that same-sex marriages are now recognised under UK law, but I believe that is contrary to God’s law, which only recognises marriages between one man and one woman.”
Higgs wrote that “for a long time” after she lost her job, she was “scared to go anywhere in the town”.
“Many people who worked at Farmor’s school would have known that I was dismissed,” she wrote. “Fairford is small town, and I felt like everybody knew what had happened to me.”
Representing the school, barrister Debbie Grennan said Higgs’s views were “extreme”, and asked her: “Do you believe that because of your religious views you can post anything you like, no matter how reactionary?”
Higgs responded: “I believe that if it goes against the word of God people need to know about it.”
The tribunal will continue until Friday (25 September).