Christian teacher faces losing career for refusing to teach extreme LGBTQI lessons in Church of England school9 October 2023 Issued by: Christian Concern
A Christian teacher faces losing her career for refusing to promote and teach extreme LGBTQI ideology at a Church of England (CofE) secondary school and for expressing her biblical beliefs on human sexuality in response to student questions.
Glawdys Leger, 43, had been a specialist Modern Foreign Languages teacher for 12 years before she was sacked by Bishop Justus CofE School in Bromley, Kent in May 2022.
Ms Leger, who is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, has said she was “treated like a dangerous criminal” for refusing to teach extreme and politically partisan LGBTQI lessons, which had been incorporated into Religious Education (RE) lessons, to year 7 pupils at the school.
She had also expressed, for example, her beliefs to students during a discussion on LGBTQI issues that God believes humans are born male and female and that LGBTQI practice is sinful.
Not satisfied with just sacking her, however, the Aquinas Church of England Education Trust subsequently reported Ms Leger to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) because “she upset one pupil by sharing her views on LBGTQ+ and she went on to share many more in our investigation and subsequent hearings, such that we were not certain whether she would continue to share those views with young people.”
On the basis of upset, not harm, to one child, the TRA decided to take forward a case against her.
Now, beginning on Monday 9 October, Ms Leger faces a fitness to practise hearing at the TRA’s headquarters in Coventry, the outcome of which could see her barred from the profession indefinitely.
It is thought to be the first time that the TRA has taken a case to a full hearing on these issues against a teacher at a Church of England school.
‘Equality is a strength, Diversity is our power, Inclusion is a necessity.’
After starting work at the school in 2017, Ms Leger had seen a continuous increase in the promotion of LGBTQI identities and other contentious ethical and political issues within the so-called Christian school.
As well as languages lessons, Ms Leger also had to teach RE, but discovered that teaching material included extreme content on gender identity with themes that begin to suggest to children that humans can be born in the wrong body.
Materials for RE entitled ‘Who Am I’ included introducing children in Year 7 to gender identities such as pansexual, asexual, intersex and transgender.
The lessons were also designed to encourage ‘allyship’, which the materials described as: “Typically a non-queer person who supports and advocates for the queer community.”
Presentation slides integrated the idea that a condition of friendship and ‘allyship’ at the school would involve defending and promoting any ‘protected characteristics’, including any gender identities.
‘Gender Identity’ is not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, which makes such teaching misleading and partisan.
The same presentation slide also included an Animal Farm-esque slogan: “Equality is a strength, Diversity is our power, Inclusion is a necessity.”
Furthermore, teachers, including Ms Leger, were compelled to show pupils a film commissioned by Stonewall, called ‘Fit’, which is about millennials who are ‘not what they seem at first glance, with gay hearts lurking behind tough exteriors and straight kids expressing themselves in very queer ways.’
Ms Leger had also grown increasingly alarmed by the promotion and acceptance of abortion and Critical Race Theory within the school.
Raising her conscientious objection to her superiors, her concerns were brushed aside and ignored. She also discovered that the school chaplain was unaware that such lessons were being taught.
‘Live your life for God’
During a staff training session about the impact teachers have on the life of young people, staff, including Ms Leger, were told that teachers are often the only role models some pupils may ever encounter.
Believing parents who thought they were sending their children to a Christian school were being deceived, Ms Leger decided that she would teach the Christian view on LGBTQI topics as students were getting only a one-sided narrative.
During lesson discussions on LGBTQI issues, she expressed that she did not believe in transgender ideology, that Christians believe sex outside of marriage is sin and that as a Christian you need to ‘live your life for God.’
In February 2022, the Head of RE sat in on one of Ms Leger’s lessons and gave very positive feedback, but asked ‘where is the LGBT lesson?’
The complaint that would lead to her sacking and potentially losing her career followed.
One complaint from a parent via their child alleged Ms Leger had said in RE lessons:
- all LGBTQ+ are ‘not fine’;
- LGBTQ+ is a sin;
- that God should be before LGBTQ+;
- God will love you if you are not LGBTQ+;
- people will always be seen by God as having their birth gender;
- that transgender people are ‘just confused.’
Ms Leger vehemently denies that she has ever said anything similar to: ‘God will love you if you are not LGBTQ+.’
An investigation and disciplinary hearing followed, which included Ms Leger facing a panel of seven against one.
She will say that she was intimidated and bullied about her Christian beliefs and how she expressed them and then sacked for gross misconduct, being deemed a safeguarding risk to the ‘emotional well-being of children.’
Following her sacking, Ms Leger received a letter from the TRA confirming the launch of a case against her stating that ‘in accordance with the Education Act 2011 the Secretary of State is able to prohibit teachers from the profession for reasons of unacceptable professional conduct’.
The letter added that her conduct: ‘was contrary to Fundamental British values in that it lacked tolerance to those with different beliefs.’
‘Treated like a criminal’
Ahead of the TRA hearing, Ms Leger said: “The impact of what has happened to me has taken a great toll on me. The thought of me losing my career for expressing my Christian beliefs in response to questions from students is heart-breaking.
“I was treated like a criminal and as though I was a danger for expressing my Christian beliefs.
“I have great compassion for LGBT people, especially for those suffering from gender confusion. I cannot, however, in good conscience teach or say things I believe are contrary to my faith, for example saying that same sex sexual relationships are good and/or affirming people in their gender confusion.
“I am certain that I have not shown, and never would show, any hatred or lack of love towards LGBT people.
“True compassion and love is to be able to speak the truth to people irrespective of their sexuality. I would never discriminate against anyone, but what the school was compelling teachers to promote, teach and celebrate these issues, which I could not do.
“For Christians it is important to remain an ally of God rather than being an ally of things that are against God’s Laws and Commandments. It is not ‘inclusive’ if pupils at a Christian school are barred from understanding what Christian belief is and means on these very serious issues.
“With Bishop Justus being a Christian school, I really believed that Christian pupils, their parents and any Christian member of staff, were being deceived. Anyone who dared to suggest that religion is a reason to not agree with that ideology was silenced, and in my case, sacked. We were not even asked how we felt about it, and when I raised concern, I was given no support.
“Increasingly, it became obvious that all the Christian aspects of the school were just for show. Beneath the mask, being promoted in assemblies and in the classroom without parents’ knowledge, were political and ethical beliefs completely contrary to Christian beliefs on these issues.
“What has happened to me is desperately concerning to any Christian teacher and any parent with a child at a Church of England school.
“The message from the Bishop Justus and the TRA by bringing this case is that Christian teachers must not only be silent about their beliefs, but they must actively promote LGBT ideology or risk losing their career.
“This is unacceptable in a truly democratic and ‘tolerant’ society, and I am determined to defend myself and fight for justice.”
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “Glawdys’s case is part of a growing trend of the TRA targeting Christian teachers for expressing their faith in schools.
“Glawdys was hounded out of the job she loved because she wanted children to understand in an RE lesson in a Christian school that Christian teaching does not align with LGBTQI ideology.
“She did not want impressionable children heading into their teenage years to be force-fed teaching that endorsed and celebrated gender confusion without question.
“The fact that a Church of England school and affiliated Trust has chosen to try and end her career for expressing her Christian beliefs is disturbing, but sadly no longer surprising.
“The Church of England has embraced LGBTQI ideology and in an ‘inclusive’ school environment, penalises any Christian teacher who expresses its own teaching on marriage and human sexuality.
“We stand with Glawdys as she defends herself this week.”