Kristie’s sex ed concerns have been proved right

30 June 2023

Christian Concern’s Head of Education Steve Beegoo comments on Kristie Higgs’ recent Employment Appeal Tribunal win

What could cause an Employment Tribunal to find that a Christian teaching assistant could be rightfully sacked from her school for raising a concern about what could be taught to her child who was in another school?

Kristie Higgs was sacked for raising concerns in two Facebook posts about how transgenderism and compulsory sex education was to be taught at her son’s Church of England (CofE) primary school.

She worked in a different school.

In 2019, during a six-hour interrogation by her bosses at Fairford school, Gloucestershire, Kristie was told that her Christian beliefs, expressed in the posts, were akin to that of an ‘extremist.

In October 2020, a judge had ruled that, despite Mrs Higgs’ posts not being ‘homophobic’ or ‘transphobic’, the school was justified in sacking her because others could perceive them to be so.

Supported by the Christian Legal Centre, she challenged this judgment which controversially rejected her claims for discrimination and harassment on the grounds of her Christian beliefs.

Thankfully the Employment Appeal Tribunal has found that the earlier judge had ruled in error. Kristie’s fight for justice continues.

Christians must not be silenced

Christians must not be silenced by the fear that they will lose their jobs when they raise concerns about children, the sexualising and gender ideology driven culture, and how this is shaping our schools.

Yet this is what is happening.

‘Hannah’, a former teacher who needs to conceal her identity, has a similar story. Hannah lost her job as a primary school teacher after raising safeguarding concerns over a child that was socially ‘transitioning’ at her school. She now faces huge financial costs.

Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre led the way in supporting parents and school staff with these issues, which have become more prevalent in the last ten years. Keith Waters’ win is an example of what can be achieved.

Three very recent reports have highlighted the scale of the issues that Kristie was raising back in 2019, when many have been oblivious as to what has been going on in their children’s schools, and even in church schools.

These recent reports were produced with the hope of shaping the promised specific government guidance to schools, expected in the coming months.

Any of us can see the value of the recommendations in them.

Could they protect teaching assistants and parents such as Kristie in the years ahead?

New Social Covenant Unit

The New Social Covenant Unit report called for a government review of the whole of RSE. It resulted in the prime minister saying he is very alarmed by the evidence and instigating a review.

The report has many examples of primary school practices, which may well be going on in your school. These were the kind of issues Kristie was highlighting.

Asleep at the wheel

Secondly, the report from the well-respected thinktank Policy Exchange on 30 March, entitled ‘Asleep at the Wheel- An Examination of Gender and Safeguarding in Schools’, specifically warns about the effect of transgender ideology in school culture.

It reveals that schools are increasingly becoming influenced by gender ideology, to the extent that fundamental safeguarding principles are being compromised by school’s approaches to children with gender distress and their peers. Again, Kristie’s concerns have been proved to be valid.

The research in the report demonstrates that many schools are failing to routinely inform parents when a child discloses gender distress, and are compromising single-sex spaces, and many are teaching gender identity beliefs within Relationships, Sex & Health Education (RSHE) as if they are facts while providing gender affirmative care, when this disregards all  safeguarding principles that have been enshrined in law for decades.

As their website explains, “The report also highlights how gender identity beliefs came to be so embedded within the school system, by tracking the influence of external agencies promoting radical and unscientific beliefs within both the Department for Education and schools themselves. This has created a safeguarding blind spot when it comes to the issue of gender, which must be rectified urgently.”

Why social transition is not possible

Thirdly, the human rights organisation ‘Sex Matters’ which campaigns for clarity about sex in law produced its analysis in the last few weeks.

Their report is titled ‘Why social transition in schools is not possible and government guidance should say so clearly’. It again demonstrates how schools should not be places of transgender indoctrination leading to huge safeguarding risks for children.

Finally, the thinktanks, politicians and report writers are recognising the dangers for children and which conscientious teachers and courageous parents have been raising for years at considerable cost to themselves.

Who are the real extremists?

Kristie was branded as an extremist when she lost her job. But shouldn’t those who advocate for teaching that radically sexualises and promotes gender ideology to young children be the ones branded as extremist?

In Kristie’s own words, “Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to believe that I lost the job I loved because of my Christian beliefs.

“I shared these posts as a mother who was deeply concerned about the compulsory sex education being forced on my 9-year-old son at a Church of England primary school. These views were compared to that of a ‘pro-Nazi right wing extremist’, which is highly offensive to me and millions of Christians across the world.

“I want young children to be protected from this harmful ideology”

Do you?

As we wait for a final judgment on Kristie’s case, we must play our part in raising the issues Kristie herself raised. The Lord will embolden his people to respond in faith, to protect the weak and the vulnerable from sexualising teaching and confusing beliefs about gender.

Pray for Kristie who has courageously done this herself.

Find out more about Kristie Higgs
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