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Christian teacher sacked after telling lesbian student of God's love sues Bristol college

Fri 02 Feb 2018
By Alex Williams

A Christian teacher who was sacked after telling a lesbian student that God loves her is suing a college in Bristol for loss of earnings.

Experienced educator Svetlana Powell was dismissed by leaders at the T2 apprenticeship academy who said that her comments were offensive to some students, and she could not control her class.

Bristol Employment Tribunal heard on Thursday that a pupil, who was being disruptive, questioned Mrs Powell on variety of controversial issues, including evolution.

 

Asked about her views on homosexuality, she told students that she personally believed the homosexuality was against the will of God, but that He loves everyone.

After being told one of the pupils in the room was a lesbian, Mrs Powell replied that God loved her. Mrs Powell has been teaching the class in late July 2016 on behalf of an absent colleague.

Sian Prigg, the Academy's Chief Safeguarding Officer, told the Tribunal a number of students complained that they were "brainwashed and preached to" during the incident.

Mrs Prigg she decided to contact a local coordinator for Prevent - the government's 'counter-terrorism' strategy - to report what had happened.

Legal representatives from the Christian Legal Centre, which is supporting Mrs Powell, say she was sacked "because her views are Christian".

Barrister, Andrea Williams said: "We are seeing a worrying trend of cases such as this.

"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".

Premier has contacted T2 Academy for a comment.

The case continues.

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