A Christian school worker who was likened to a Nazi and sacked for sharing a Facebook petition objecting to LGBT lessons was moved to tears when gay and transgender pupils comforted her after she lost her job.
Kristie Higgs, a pastoral assistant at Farmor’s School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, was dismissed in January last year after she raised objections to a controversial teaching programme on transgender issues at her son’s primary.
She is now working on an appeal with the support of the Christian Legal Centre after losing her claim of religious discrimination at a Bristol employment tribunal.
The tribunal ruled this week that she had been fairly dismissed because her views could be perceived as transphobic.
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, the mother-of-two broke down as she described how students at the school, where she provided care for the most troubled, had offered their support after her sacking.
‘I was walking up the street to collect my son from primary school and one of the LGBT students stopped me and said, “Can I give you a hug?” She was one of my regular little customers. I had a couple of other students who left me flowers and a card on my doorstep.’
Christian school worker Kristie Higgs (above) – who was likened to a Nazi and sacked for sharing a Facebook petition objecting to LGBT lessons – was moved to tears when gay and transgender pupils comforted her after she lost her job
Ms Higgs, a pastoral assistant at Farmor’s School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, was dismissed in January last year after she raised objections to a controversial teaching programme on transgender issues at her son’s primary
Angry at last week’s ruling, she added: ‘I am not homophobic or transphobic. My beliefs don’t mean I can’t love or be friends with gay or transgender people. It just means I disagree with that lifestyle. I worked in that school for seven years.
‘I would never discriminate against anyone, particularly not children. I would never treat any of the pupils any differently from another.’
Her ordeal, as this newspaper detailed last April, began when an anonymous complaint was made to her employer about Facebook posts that she had shared in 2018.
The posts raised concerns about the ‘No Outsiders’ anti-prejudice teaching about sexual minorities at her son’s Church of England school.
As The Mail on Sunday has previously revealed, the programme teaches children as young as four about gender identity through stories about a boy who wants to wear a dress.
It has sparked bitter protests, including the boycott of a Birmingham primary by concerned Muslim parents.
Ms Higgs, 44, insisted her only motive for sharing the concerns on social media was her view that her nine-year-old son was too young to understand what it means to change sex. As a practising Christian, this went against her fundamental beliefs.
The mother-of-two is now working on an appeal after losing her claim of religious discrimination at a Bristol employment tribunal which found she had been fairly dismissed because her views could be perceived as transphobic
But during a six-hour disciplinary hearing, a school governor compared her posts to those of a ‘Nazi far-Right extremist’ and she was fired for gross misconduct despite her blemish-free work record.
‘This has always been about my Christian beliefs,’ she said last night. ‘It’s crazy that parents like me are being vilified for raising worries about what their child is being taught.’
Her tribunal setback came days after the MoS published an interview with another mother, known only as Mrs A, who is taking Britain’s biggest children’s gender clinic, the Gender Identity Development Service in London, to court in an effort to prevent it giving sex-change drugs to her autistic 16-year-old daughter.
Employment judge Derek Reed said her dismissal ‘was the result of a genuine belief on the part of the school that she had committed gross misconduct’.
During the hearing, school governor Stephen Conlan said she had been sacked because of the language used in the posts, adding: ‘We were not concerned with Mrs Higgs’s religious beliefs. We were concerned with the manner in which those beliefs were expressed.’
Despite being ‘deeply disappointed’ by the outcome, Ms Higgs is convinced that continuing her fight is worthwhile.
‘People are frightened to challenge the current orthodoxy and prevailing cultural views,’ she said. ‘But if an ordinary mum like me can stand up against these bullies, anyone can.’