A London-based sixth-grade teacher has been fired for refusing to teach LGBTQ-supportive material, a curriculum that she believes violates her Christian faith.
Glawdys Leger, 43, who taught modern foreign languages at Bishop Justus Church of England School in Bromley, was fired after she refused to teach the “extreme” material as part of a religious education syllabus.
Career at Stake
Leger had taught for 12 years, the past six of which were spent at the school. In addition to losing her job, Leger could be permanently banned from teaching, pending the outcome of a ‘fitness to practice’ hearing conducted by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA). She had been reported to the agency after allegedly upsetting a student.
Leger told The Daily Mail that she most objected to lessons in the syllabus covering different sexual identities, such as asexual, pansexual, intersex, and transgender, along with the promotion of abortion and Critical Race Theory.
Regarding transgender identities, Leger said her Catholic faith required her to object to language in the curriculum, stating that people can be “born in the wrong body.”
A Heartbreaking Price to Pay
“The impact of what has happened to me has taken a great toll on me,” Leger told the publication. “The thought of me losing my career for expressing my Christian beliefs in response to questions from students is heartbreaking. I was treated like a criminal and as a danger for expressing my Christian beliefs.”
Leger added, “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.’
A Church of England spokesman said that church schools in the UK promote tolerance and respect for people with differing beliefs and faiths as part of its mission to instill British values and follow Department for Education guidelines.
The London-based Christian Legal Centre, which represents Christians in cases where they believe their religious freedom has been violated, is representing Leger. The Centre issued a statement saying that the curriculum in question advocated “allyship” for queer students because their gender identities are “protected characteristics.”
But gender identity is not one of the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, the Christian Legal Centre has argued.
Are Christian Teachers Being Targeted?
“Glawdys’ case is part of a growing trend of the TRA targeting Christian teachers for expressing their faith in schools,” Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said in a statement issued by the center.
“Glawdys was hounded out of the job she loved because she wanted children to understand in an RE lesson in a Christian school that Christian teaching does not align with LGBTQI ideology. She did not want impressionable children heading into their teenage years to be force-fed teaching that endorsed and celebrated gender confusion without question,” she continued.
Williams said the TRA is increasingly targeting Christian teachers “for expressing their faith in schools.”
Beating the Controversy
The case comes nearly four months after the Christian Legal Centre successfully defended a school worker for a similar issue.
Teaching assistant Kristie Higgs was fired from a Church of England school in Gloucestershire for publishing Facebook posts criticizing the institution for teaching LGBTQ issues. She took the school to an employment tribunal, arguing she was unlawfully fired for her Christian beliefs.
The school argued that it fired Higgs for the language she used in the posts rather than for her criticism. The tribunal in 2020 ruled against Higgs, finding that the school lawfully fired her. Higgs subsequently appealed the decision.
Finally, in June 2023, the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London ruled in her favor, remitting the case back to an employment tribunal for a rehearing.
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This article was produced by TPR Teaching. The photos are stock images and do not depict the individuals from the article.
Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.