A UK Employment Tribunal has dismissed the discrimination claim by a Christian teacher dismissed by a UK government-funded pre-apprenticeship academy for answering students' questions about her beliefs.
Svetlana Powell, a teacher of some 17 years' experience, was dismissed by the T2 Apprenticeship Academy in Bristol, England in July 2016 after being asked by students about her views on homosexuality. She was also reported as a "radicalization threat" to the government's anti-terrorist watchdog, Prevent.
In reply to a question by a 17-year-old student, Mrs. Powell said that her personal belief was that homosexuality was against God's will, but that He loved every person, regardless of what they did, or who they were.
When told that one of the students identified as a lesbian, Mrs. Powell in the conviction of God's care and love for every person, turned to her and said: "God loves you".
Two days later, the Academy's HR Officer, Stacy Preston, told Mrs. Powell that she was fired for "gross misconduct" with immediate effect.
"I was surprised that my contract was terminated," Powell said. "I was telling them about the love of God and love of each other. For them to compare my Christian views to terrorist acts, that was absolutely appalling."
The Academy's Chief Safeguarding Officer, Sian Prigg, told the Tribunal that after a group of students complained that they were "brainwashed and preached to", she decided to contact the local coordinator for Prevent - the government's 'counter-terrorism' strategy group – to report the incident. Mrs. Powell said she did not know of being reported as a "radicalization threat" until she brought a legal claim against the Academy and read Mrs. Prigg's witness statement for the Tribunal.
"They knew that I was Christian, and they were interested in my views as a Christian because they were different from what they heard from other teachers, my answers were very different from what they know," Powell said.
She continued, "We're all sinners and God loves everybody. God provided us the way for us to be forgiven through his son Jesus Christ. And I said to that girl that God loves her."
Employment Judge Maxwell ruled that the Academy did not discriminate against Mrs. Powell because of her religious beliefs.
Courtesy: Global News Alliance