Christian teacher sacked after refusing to teach LGBT lessons

Gladwys Leger

A Christian teacher has claimed she was "treated like a criminal" after being sacked by a Church of England school.

Glawdys Leger, a modern languages teacher, was sacked by Bishop Justice CofE School in Bromley, Kent, in May 2022.

She says her sacking was because she refused to teach "extreme" LGBT lessons and because she shared her Christian beliefs on these issues with pupils.

The 43-year-old had objected to the content of year 7 lessons, which had been incorporated into Religious Education (RE) classes.

The Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting the 43-year-old, said lesson materials included "extreme content on gender identity with themes that begin to suggest to children that humans can be born in the wrong body" and introduced controversial gender identities such as pansexual, asexual, and transgender.

Children were also reportedly encouraged to be allies of the queer community.

Ms Leger told pupils in her class, during a discussion on LGBTQ issues, that God made humans male and female, and that she believed LGBTQ practice was sinful.

The CLC said that she raised her conscientious objection about the lesson content but her concerns were "brushed aside and ignored".

The school is part of the Aquinas Church of England Education Trust, which reported Ms Leger to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) after a complaint was made about Ms Leger.

A 'fitness to practice' hearing was held by the TRA on Monday. She faces being struck off and unable to teach again if the regulating body finds against her.

Speaking ahead of the hearing, she said, "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."

A spokesperson for the Church of England said: "It would not be appropriate to comment on the complex particulars of any case to which we are not party, and which is under consideration.

"Schools are bound by the Equalities Act, which assures that all children and adults are treated with respect, regardless of their faith, gender or sexuality.

"Everyone is made in God's image and loved by God - no matter what their background, identity, abilities or anything else."

A spokesman for the Aquinas Church of England Education Trust said: "Delivering a high-quality education and supporting the wellbeing of students is our top priority.

"To ensure this is achieved, we promote fundamental British values including mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.

"The school teaches in line with statutory requirements to promote British values and follows relevant guidance outlined by the Department for Education.

"Given the ongoing investigation, and sensitivities involved, it would not be appropriate to comment any further."