A Christian teacher in Bristol was fired and reported as a “radicalisation threat” after she answered questions from pupils about her beliefs, an employment tribunal has heard.
Svetlana Powell was dismissed from the T2 Apprenticeship Academy in Bristol in July 2016 after leaders at the government-funded college said students had been offended by comments the teacher made.
Bristol Employment Tribunal heard that a pupil who was being persistently disruptive brought up Mrs. Powell’s religion and proceeded to quiz her on her personal beliefs in an “argumentative” way, LifeSiteNews reported.
Asked her views on homosexuality, the teacher said that as a Christian, she “personally” believed homosexual activity was against the Lord’s will, but that God loves every person regardless of their sexual preference.
The same student, who had been warned about his misbehaviour throughout the day, told Mrs. Powell that another pupil in the class was a lesbian, to which the teacher replied that God loved her.
Christian Teacher Suspended for ‘Misgendering’ Pupil https://t.co/yAv4gYPHkF
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 12, 2017
Two days later, Mrs. Powell, a teacher of some 17 years experience, learned she was fired for “gross misconduct”, and that she would not be allowed to appeal her dismissal.
Chief Safeguarding Officer at the college, Sian Prigg, told the tribunal students complained that they were “brainwashed and preached to” during the incident, prompting her to report Mrs. Powell to the government’s counter-terrorism strategy, Prevent.
The Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which is supporting the educator in suing the T2 Academy for loss of earnings, said Mrs. Powell was fired because of her Christian beliefs, comparing her dismissal to how the college dealt with complaints against a teacher described as an “outspoken left-wing atheist”.
CLC lawyer Pavel Stroilov told the court that Andrew Spargo continues to teach at the college despite having been reported by pupils as spending most of his time in class “preaching to them on the daily basis about how terrible England is and how many innocent people the government has killed, as well as why Jesus never existed”.
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 2, 2018
He added: “By contrast, Mrs Powell was dismissed on the spot for much milder comments. In my submission, we have proven today that this was because her views are Christian.”
The case represents a “worrying trend” in Britain, according to barrister and CEO of the CLC, Andrea Williams, who commented: “The fact that Svetlana was reported to Prevent for holding Christian views is a sign of our times.
“It shows how Prevent will be used to punish innocent and soft targets. A radical rethink is required.”
UKIP education spokesman David Kurten told Breitbart London the case is symptomatic of increasing discrimination against Christians in UK schools at a time when militant activists are “becoming tyrannical in seeking to eradicate opinions which fail to celebrate every aspect of LGBT-ism”.