Kristie Higgs should never have been sacked

20 June 2023

Our head of public policy Tim Dieppe commends Kristie for speaking out, noting that without people like her the government wouldn’t be reviewing age-inappropriate explicit sex education.

This article was originally posted on Christian Today and has been republished with permission.

In 2018 when Kristie Higgs shared Facebook posts with her friends criticising inappropriate material being used in sex education classes in her child’s school she was sacked for gross misconduct. Her crime? Sharing widespread concerns about the sexualisation of children in schools. Or in other words, caring for children.

Christian Concern supported Kristie as she took her case to the Employment Tribunal where she brought a claim for discrimination and harassment against the school. She lost that case in 2020, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal has finally now ruled that Kristie has grounds for her case to be remitted for reconsideration because she was merely manifesting her Christian beliefs which constitute a protected characteristic.

Government now concerned about sex education

Kristie’s concerns are now mainstream. Just last week, the government announced the formation of an independent expert advisory panel to advise the government on a review of relationships, sex and health education (RSHE). This panel will advise the government on what is appropriate or not appropriate to be taught in RSHE at different ages.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak himself called for a review into sex education after more than 50 Conservative MPs wrote to him with concerns that “children are being indoctrinated with radical and unevidenced ideologies about sex and gender.” Miriam Cates MP, in particular, has been outspoken in criticising completely inappropriate content such as graphic lessons on oral sex, how to choke your partner safely, and 72 genders.

Kristie sacked for sharing the same concerns

Back in 2018, Kristie was alarmed by what she read about what passes for sex education in some primary schools. She posted a link to a petition on Facebook encouraging others to share their concerns by signing the petition. Kristie’s Facebook account was in her maiden name and had no links to her employer. A similar petition was subsequently signed by over 115,000 people, leading to a debate in Parliament.

Kristie also shared an article which critiqued the notorious ‘No Outsiders’ programme for promoting LGBT ideology in schools. Kristie commented “This is happening in our primary schools now.” She was aware that this material was being introduced in her son’s Church of England primary school.

An anonymous Facebook ‘friend’ complained to her employer about her posts, and, incredibly, she found herself sacked for gross misconduct. During the investigation, Kristie’s views were compared to ‘pro-Nazi’ views, and she was accused of being intolerant.

Double recusal of Employment Tribunal panel members

With the help of the Christian Legal Centre, Kristie took her case to the Employment Tribunal which ruled against her in October 2020. So she took her case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Very unusually, in July 2022, the judge was forced to recuse one of the panel members from presiding because he was clearly a trans activist who had made a number of public statements relating to key issues in Kristie’s case. The judge rightly concluded that there could be a perception of bias.

Even more unusually, in what is perhaps an unprecedented occurrence, a second member of the panel was also forced to recuse himself in March this year for perception of bias because he had publicly campaigned on the same issues that Kristie’s Facebook posts were about. This double recusal demonstrates the evident bias of Employment Tribunal panel members, many of whom are clearly LGBT activists. The judge decided she should hear the appeal on her own in order not to delay the appeal any further.

Christians need to be vocal

It really beggars belief that someone could be sacked for sharing concerns about sex education in schools. Surely it is those who are not concerned about sex education who should be sacked! Those who are sexualising children and perverting their minds. Those who are grooming children into LGBT lifestyles. Surely we want more people like Kristie in our schools who care for the moral welfare of our children!

Conversely, if no-one complains, schools will believe that no-one objects to what is being taught. Then we will be guilty of acquiescing to the sexualisation of more children. It is vocal LGBT activists who are very deliberately pushing extreme sexual material to young children under the guise of sex education. Then when parents request sight of the offending material, the organisations are too embarrassed to share it.

Let’s remember that the government review would not have happened were it not for multiple vocal complaints about the content of sex education in schools. We cannot allow vocal LGBT extremists to indoctrinate our children.

I hope and pray that the government review comes up with some robust recommendations about what is and is not age appropriate. The government should also require schools, or organisations that schools use, to make public the lesson contents of all sex education lessons. The morality of a whole generation is at stake.

Public debate requires ability to freely speak

We also hope that Kristie is finally vindicated when her case is re-heard. The judge recognised that the facts of the case “touch on matters of current public debate relating to same-sex relationships, transgender issues and the way such matters are addressed in schools.” Should a school worker not be allowed to participate in this debate on pain of dismissal for gross misconduct? If people who work in the area concerned cannot express their informed views then we are not able to have a legitimate democratic public debate about these matters. This should concern us all.

Kristie’s concerns are now mainstream – so mainstream that they are now shared by the government. Yet she lost her job for vocalising them. This is perverse and clearly unjust. Her dismissal cannot be allowed to stand.

Find out more about Kristie Higgs
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