Headteacher denies sacking Christian teacher because of her beliefs

Kristie Higgs is taking legal action against her former employer for unfair dismissal and discrimination(Photo: Christian Legal Centre)

A school headteacher has denied dismissing a Christian teacher because of her beliefs about homosexuality. 

Kristie Higgs, 44, is challenging her dismissal for gross misconduct by Farmor's School in Fairford, Gloucestershire, at an employment tribunal in Bristol this week. 

She is being defended by the Christian Legal Centre in the case over her sacking in January last year, which came after she shared two posts on her personal Facebook page in her maiden name, which were critical of Relationships and Sex Education, and LGBT relationships. 

Mrs Higgs claims that her dismissal was a breach of religious freedom and free speech rights. 

Head teacher Matthew Evans told the employment tribunal that the school's action were not taken over her beliefs. 

"It was not because of the beliefs. These posts have been shared and apparently endorsed and my concern was that might lead to a loss of confidence in the school," he said, according to the Press Association.

"I think it was important to establish the reasons why Mrs Higgs had shared these posts and upon reflection whether she thinks whether that was a wise thing to do."

Pavel Stroilov, representing Mrs Higgs, asked Mr Evans whether she had been "expressing her right to free speech" in sharing her posts on Facebook.

He replied: "I accept that you have the right to say what you believe in public or private location. I didn't know enough about her religious beliefs to know what she was expressing."

Earlier in the hearing, Mrs Higgs said she did not believe in "the modern ideas of gender fluidity and transgenderism", and that even if something is enshrined in law, "it doesn't mean I can't disagree."

"People cannot change something that has been established by God, such as their identity as a man or a woman," she said.

"I am aware that same-sex marriages are now recognised under UK law, but I believe that is contrary to God's law, which only recognises marriages between one man and one woman."

She went on to say that even if she disagreed with the law on gender recognition, she was "not a hater" of transgender people.

"God's law says they cannot change their gender, the law says they can," she said.

"This does not mean you have to accept it. It doesn't mean I hate them, or they are not my friends."