A Christian faculty teacher who was sacked after expressing considerations on Facebook about Relationships and Sex Education classes and transgenderism in colleges has been given permission to take her case to the Court of Appeal.
Kristie Higgs, 47, has been combating in opposition to her dismissal by Fairford Secondary School in Gloucestershire for the final 5 years.
Granting permission for her authorized problem to maneuver ahead, Lady Justice Elisabeth Laing mentioned that “all of the grounds of attraction are debatable with cheap prospects of success”.
“Even in the event that they weren’t, this attraction raises at the least three necessary questions in regards to the dismissal of an worker for the expression of her beliefs,” she mentioned.
These questions embody the “faulty view that [Mrs Higgs’] views constituted illegal discrimination”, and “the extent to which an employer might lawfully dismiss an worker for expressing views that are based mostly on her spiritual beliefs in a discussion board which isn’t within the office, isn’t managed by the employer, and which has a restricted variety of members”.
The case pertains to two Facebook posts shared in 2018 by Mrs Higgs on her private Facebook account which was in her maiden identify and didn’t have any hyperlinks to her employer.
In the primary submit, she shared a hyperlink to a petition difficult the federal government’s plans to introduce obligatory RSE classes to colleges. The second submit linked to an article elevating considerations about books selling transgender ideology in colleges.
She was investigated by the college after a single grievance in regards to the posts, earlier than later being sacked for gross misconduct.
The faculty alleged “unlawful discrimination”, “severe inappropriate use of social media”, and “on-line feedback that would deliver the college into disrepute and injury the fame of the college”.
In 2020, an employment tribunal present in favour of the college. In 2022, her attraction was postponed after Mrs Justice Eady recused trans campaigner Edward Lord from sitting on the presiding panel. His alternative, Andrew Morris, the previous Assistant General Secretary of National Education Union (NEU), was recused the next 12 months, resulting in extra setbacks.
The Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting Higgs in her case, mentioned that the listening to on the Court of Appeal is more likely to happen this 12 months.
Responding to the information, Mrs Higgs mentioned she was “very grateful” to Justice Laing for permitting the case to proceed on all grounds, and that she hoped to “obtain full justice” on the Court of Appeal.
“From the start, regardless of the various makes an attempt by the college to counsel in any other case, this has all the time been about my Christian beliefs and me being discriminated in opposition to for expressing them in my very own time,” she mentioned.
“I used to be, and nonetheless am, appalled by the sexual ideology that was being launched to my son’s Church of England main faculty. What has occurred since in colleges with excessive RSE and transgender ideology exhibits that I used to be proper to be involved as a mother or father.”
The CLC’s chief govt, Andrea Williams, mentioned it was an necessary case.
“For Kristie’s case to be heard on the Court of Appeal is a big second for Christian freedoms and the liberty of any worker to have the ability to categorical opposition to LGBT+ ideology with out concern of shedding their jobs,” she mentioned.