Teacher spared classroom ban after saying LGBT lifestyles are sinful

Christian teacher sacked for telling children that LGBT lifestyles are sinful is spared classroom ban after parent who made complaint admitted she ‘didn’t expect it to get this far’

  • Glawdys Leger, 43, was sacked as a modern foreign languages teacher last May
  • She refused teach LGBT material on the education syllabus to year seven pupils

A Christian teacher who was sacked for telling children that LGBT lifestyles are sinful has been spared a classroom ban. 

Glawdys Leger, 43, was dismissed from her post teaching modern foreign languages at Bishop Justus CofE in Bromley, south London, last May after she said she wouldn’t teach LGBT material on the religious education syllabus to year seven pupils.  

She spoke with the school chaplain about lesson contents and said: ‘This was going too far now and that I am going to tell my pupils the truth’. Ms Leger later told pupils LGBT practices are ‘sinful’ and that humans are born either male or female.

But the Christian teacher, who had been employed at Bishop Justus School since August 2017, has now been cleared of bringing the profession into disrepute and undermining British values, meaning she is now free to return to the classroom. 

While a misconduct panel found that her behaviour was ‘serious’, they decided against a classroom ban after the mother who made the complaint told them she did not expect it to ‘get this far’. 

Glawdys Leger was dismissed from a Church of England school after she refused to teach LGBT content that was incompatible with her views

The complaint against Ms Leger came after a student was made handwritten notes of what she said and passed them onto her mother who complained to The Aquinas Church of England Education Trust, which runs the school.

The matter was then referred to the Teaching Regulation Agency to decide whether Ms Leger should be banned from the profession for life.

READ MORE: Church of England school sacks foreign languages teacher, 43, who refused to teach ‘extreme’ LGBT lessons

The panel was told Ms Leger had been employed at Bishop Justus School since August 2017, teaching modern languages and some other subjects, until February 10 2022, when ‘Pupil A’s mother’ sent an email to the school after her daughter had informed her of ‘inappropriate comments in a religious education class’ by Ms Leger two days earlier.

This led to an investigation and a disciplinary hearing the same month, following which Ms Leger was sacked. Ms Leger’s appeal against the dismissal was also rejected.

In her live evidence, Pupil A told the panel that during the RE lesson Ms Leger described a story about a gay man, who had ‘given up being gay to become a Christian because it was not right’. 

Pupil A scribbled that Ms Leger said that ‘being LGBTQ+ is not fine’.

In relation to the story about a gay man living in sin. Pupil A noted Ms Leger had then told the class: ‘*being LGBTQ+ is*a sin’. 

Giving evidence, Ms Lege clarified that same sex marriage and active sexual relationship outside of marriage is a sin in the eyes of God, adding: ‘If you are a Christian, being in a LGBT relationship is a sin.’

Initially Ms Leger denied, when asked, that God should be before LGBT. She then corrected herself and explained that God should be before because ‘if you are a Christian, you should put God first’. 

In her live evidence, Ms Leger also talked about gay people who chose to serve God first and chose celibacy as a consequence.

That mother’s email to the school also stated that Ms Leger had commented ‘You will always be female in God’s eyes if you were born female and male if born male’.

Another student, Pupil D, told the school in a misspelled statement: ‘Miss Leguer [sic] was talking about LGBTQ+ and she said that if God created us as a man you stay as a man and you do not change personaliti [sic].’

Ms Leger told the panel that she accepted saying words to the effect of ‘In God’s eyes if you are born male, you will remain male and if female you will remain female’.

The email also blasted Ms Leger for saying: ‘People who are transgender are just confused about themselves’. 

When carpeted by the school in March 2022, Ms Leger told her bosses ‘she could not recall exactly what she said, but she probably did say that’.

Ms Leger said that students at Bishop Justus CofE School in Bromley were being taught ideas contrary to Christian beliefs without parents’ knowledge

Ian Hylan, who chaired the TRA hearing, said: ‘Ms Leger explained to the panel that she did say that transgender people are confused but that this was in relation to people with gender dysphoria.

‘The panel accepted that her subsequent explanation was plausible but there was no evidence to suggest that this explanation had been offered to the class.

‘The panel was provided with PowerPoint slides taken from the scheme of work which comprised of a number of lessons. Prior to delivery Ms Leger discussed concerns about LGBT content with the school chaplain.

‘In her statement, she wrote ‘I remember leaving and saying that this was going too far now and that I am going to tell them (my pupils) the Truth*’.

‘The panel noted that Ms Leger was determined to tell the class her views. Following this, Ms Leger decided in lesson 4 on 8 February 2022 to tell her class that she would not be teaching lesson 6 because of LGBTQ+ content, which for religious reasons she could not support.’

It was also alleged he behaviour ‘was contrary to Fundamental British Values in that it lacked tolerance to those with different beliefs’

But Mr Hylan concluded: ‘The Panel recognised that there was a possibility that people could be upset by the comments made by Ms Leger.

‘The panel referred to the Department of Education departmental advice for school leaders, school staff, governing bodies and local authorities on the Equality Act 2010 and schools, dated May 2014, which stated this at paragraph 3.11 – ‘The Equality Act defines “religion” as being any religion, and “belief” as any religious or philosophical belief.

‘No evidence was provided to the panel that LGBTQ+ was a philosophical belief in accordance with that document.’

The panel also underlined ‘Fundamental British Values’ according to Teachers’ Standards is taken from the definition of extremism, as laid out in the 2011 Prevent Strategy.

It includes ‘democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs’.

The panel also looked up ‘tolerance’ in the Oxford English Dictionary, which defines it as ‘The ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.’

Summing up, Mr Hylan said: ‘In her evidence, Ms Leger told the panel that she was tolerant of people from all backgrounds. The panel found her evidence to be genuine and sincere. Therefore, the panel found the allegation not proved.’

Ms Leger has also been cleared of bringing the profession into disrepute.

Mr Hylan continued: ‘Although the panel found that the conduct was serious, the panel did not consider that the conduct displayed would negatively damage public perception.

‘Indeed, Pupil A’s mother told the panel that she did not expect her complaint to ‘get this far’. Therefore, it did not find that Ms Leger’s actions constituted conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.’

Three colleagues gave references via video links. One described her as ‘a kind, genteel and decent individual who would never 16 deliberately cause harm or insult to another human being and most definitely not a young person’.

Marc Cavey, for the Education Secretary, agreed that a ban would go against the public interest, adding: ‘I have also considered the impact of a prohibition order on Ms Leger herself.

‘The panel considered a number of character references and heard directly from character witnesses who attested to Ms Leger’s personal qualities as well as her inclusive approach when interacting with individuals.

‘In this case, I have placed considerable weight on the panel’s comments concerning Ms Leger’s intent, and particularly that she ‘*had no intention of causing distress or harm to pupils.

‘For these reasons, I agree with the panel that a prohibition order is not proportionate or in the public interest.

‘I consider that the publication of the findings made would be sufficient to send an appropriate message to the teacher as to the standards of behaviour that 19 were not acceptable and that the publication would meet the public interest requirement of declaring proper standards of the profession.’

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