CNA Staff, Oct 20, 2023 / 15:30 pm (CNA).
A Christian teacher in the United Kingdom who refused to promote gender ideology to 11- and 12-year-old students is in jeopardy of losing her teaching faculties for life after a government agency took up a case against her, an advocacy group says.
Glawdys Leger had been a teacher of foreign languages for 12 years, including at Bishop Justus Church of England School in Bromley, Kent, before she was fired from there in May of last year, according to the group Christian Concern.
The school had reportedly issued curriculum and teaching materials for Year 7 students affirming gender ideology, such as the existence of “gender identities,” which included pansexual, asexual, and transgender identities.
Teachers were allegedly guided to educate students on “extreme content” such as suggesting that one can be born in the “wrong body,” according to Christian Concern.
Leger, 43, “decided that she would teach the Christian view on LGBTQI topics as students were getting only a one-sided narrative,” Christian Concern said. A parent of a child reportedly complained and Leger was subsequently investigated by the school, after which she was fired.
The complaint from the parent alleged that Leger said that LGBT individuals are “not fine,” that the lifestyle is “a sin,” and that transgender people are just “confused,” among other claims.
In a statement via Christian Concern, Leger said she has “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,” she said, “for example saying that same-sex sexual relationships are good and/or affirming people in their gender confusion.”
Bishop Justus Church of England School did not respond to a query on Friday.
A school authority, according to Christian Concern, subsequently referred her to the government’s Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA), which notified her that the government has the ability to permanently suspend a teacher for “reasons of unacceptable professional conduct.”
A letter sent to Leger from the TRA said her conduct “was contrary to Fundamental British values in that it lacked tolerance to those with different beliefs.”
Leger underwent a “fitness to practice” hearing at the Teaching Regulation Agency’s headquarters on Oct. 9. Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern’s Christian Legal Centre, told CNA on Friday that those hearings ended on Oct. 13 and that an additional date for the final result in Leger’s case has not yet been set.
Christian Concern said that in addition to the materials to which Leger objected, educators at the school were “compelled” to play in class a film called “Fit,” a movie that features millennials “with gay hearts lurking behind tough exteriors,” along with “straight kids expressing themselves in very queer ways.”
In her statement, Leger said that losing her job and being investigated by the state has taken a “great toll” on her.
“I was treated like a criminal and as though I was a danger for expressing my Christian beliefs,” she said.
“I am certain that I have not shown, and never would show, any hatred or lack of love towards LGBT people,” she added.
“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 … the school was compelling teachers to promote, teach, and celebrate these issues, which I could not do,” she added.
A petition started by Christian Concern on Oct. 17 asking the U.K.’s education secretary to ensure Leger is not banned from teaching in the nation had garnered more than 10,000 signatures by Friday.
The U.K.’s Teaching Regulation Agency did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.