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Old 22nd September 2020, 03:49 AM   #1
Carrot Flower King
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Sacked for "Bible Truth"

Here we go yet again...

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-lgbtq-classes

For non-UK-ians (mebbe even some UK-ians), to be sacked from a school is the final stage of a process involving verbal and written warnings and various other things, which suggests that she had continued to "Bible Truth" after being warned not to and that her "Bible Truth" contravenes equality legislation and the local policies. So, she had chance to shut up but chose not to...

Inevitably, the Christian Legal Centre are involved and making their usual claims about her freedom of religion and freedom of speech being curtailed. As usual they miss the point spectacularly: no-one is telling her NOT to be a Christian, just to stop breaching local policies and national law; freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences, ie she can say what she wants, but some things have consequences and she's got them and now doesn't like it.

I have zero sympathy with "Christians" who want to discriminate against other folk, in contravention of their supposed religion to start off with. My sympathy goes down further when they start trying to claim legal protection using the same sorts of legislation they have breached. Then it goes down even further when it involves the issues it does in this case, as, in my former professional life in CAMHS, I spent too much time with LGBTQ+ bairns who were being bullied, having their needs ignored by schools, etc, etc, ended up OD'ing or cutting, depressed, house-bound with anxiety and more.

Really, some of these "Christians" should just grow up and understand some of their own supposed religion...

PS Mods, I wasn't sure whether to put this here or in Social Affairs. Please move if you think it's better there. Thank you.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 07:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
For non-UK-ians (mebbe even some UK-ians), to be sacked from a school is the final stage of a process involving verbal and written warnings and various other things, which suggests that she had continued to "Bible Truth" after being warned not to and that her "Bible Truth" contravenes equality legislation and the local policies. So, she had chance to shut up but chose not to...
Funnily enough, none of that is in the article. It simply says that she was sacked after an anonymous complaint was made to the school where she worked.

More importantly, it is not known if she was making facebook posts as a private individual or if she indicated that she was working at the school in question.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 07:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Funnily enough, none of that is in the article. It simply says that she was sacked after an anonymous complaint was made to the school where she worked.

More importantly, it is not known if she was making facebook posts as a private individual or if she indicated that she was working at the school in question.
It also doesn't go into any detail about the allegedly extreme language she's said to have used in her posts. On the face of it this seems a strong reaction; on the other hand, having seen how difficult it is to get any action taken against a school employee who flagrantly undermines the messages given out by the school (one of my kids' physics teachers, a young Earth creationist, told the class he was teaching that the science of radioactive decay was completely wrong but he was required by law to teach them that it was true, and the school refused to take any action whatsoever), I'm inclined to suspect, as does the OP, that there was a great deal more going on than a single complaint leading to an immediate sacking.

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Old 22nd September 2020, 07:11 AM   #4
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Quote:
Higgs explained in her statement her religious beliefs. “I believe that God created mankind as ‘male and female’ and what he has created is good. He does not make mistakes,” she said.

“I therefore do not believe in the modern ideas of gender fluidity and transgenderism. I did not think much about this issue until it was brought up in my younger son’s primary school.

“I am aware that same-sex marriages are now recognised under UK law, but I believe that is contrary to God’s law, which only recognises marriages between one man and one woman.”
And that's why "Believe and pray at home and in church as much as you want but keep your beliefs to yourself and out of public institutions" would be an awesome way to handle the problem of religion.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 08:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Funnily enough, none of that is in the article. It simply says that she was sacked after an anonymous complaint was made to the school where she worked.

More importantly, it is not known if she was making facebook posts as a private individual or if she indicated that she was working at the school in question.
No, it doesn't, but being in a household consisting of 2 retired UK-ian public sector workers, it's the kind of thing we know about how the system works, which is why I put that in the post...To highlight that folk do not get sacked just like that, that long processes are involved and, outside of gross misconduct, there will have been opportunities to modify behaviour. I was trying to provide some context.

It could well not matter in what capacity she made any social media comments, as many public sector contracts will forbid, as a disciplinary offence, any public commenting which is critical of one's employer. And this is clear from the start - both Carrot Flower Queen and I lived with this for years. You know what the deal is when you sign up, if you don't like it, go somewhere else. If that is what she did, she's breached her contract, which she knowingly signed.

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Old 22nd September 2020, 08:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
It also doesn't go into any detail about the allegedly extreme language she's said to have used in her posts. On the face of it this seems a strong reaction; on the other hand, having seen how difficult it is to get any action taken against a school employee who flagrantly undermines the messages given out by the school (one of my kids' physics teachers, a young Earth creationist, told the class he was teaching that the science of radioactive decay was completely wrong but he was required by law to teach them that it was true, and the school refused to take any action whatsoever), I'm inclined to suspect, as does the OP, that there was a great deal more going on than a single complaint leading to an immediate sacking.

Dave
That may be as much to do with the teaching unions as anything: they are usually pretty aggressive in sticking up for their members, even when said members are numpties.

It's not indicated that Higgs belongs to a union, but as the Christian Legal mob are representing her, probably not...
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Old 22nd September 2020, 08:52 AM   #7
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Bit more detail in a piece from The Mirror: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-new...-lgbt-22719934.

She'd been a pastoral worker...This sort of hompohobic, discriminatory behaviour is just what you need from a school pastoral worker, which is why it is not surprising that the school did go down a gross misconduct line.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 09:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
Bit more detail in a piece from The Mirror: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-new...-lgbt-22719934.

She'd been a pastoral worker...This sort of hompohobic, discriminatory behaviour is just what you need from a school pastoral worker, which is why it is not surprising that the school did go down a gross misconduct line.
The article also says that she posed under her maiden name and did not name the school. And contrary to your claim that "long processes are involved and, outside of gross misconduct, there will have been opportunities to modify behaviour" she was immediately suspended and later sacked.

Such totalitarian action makes every word in her facebook post true (but nobody wants "truth").
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Old 22nd September 2020, 09:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The article also says that she posed under her maiden name and did not name the school. And contrary to your claim that "long processes are involved and, outside of gross misconduct, there will have been opportunities to modify behaviour" she was immediately suspended and later sacked.

Such totalitarian action makes every word in her facebook post true (but nobody wants "truth").
Correction: Nobody wants the "truth" of homophobic *****.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 09:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by RedStapler View Post
And that's why "Believe and pray at home and in church as much as you want but keep your beliefs to yourself and out of public institutions" would be an awesome way to handle the problem of religion.

See also Matthew 6:5.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 10:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The article also says that she posed under her maiden name and did not name the school. And contrary to your claim that "long processes are involved and, outside of gross misconduct, there will have been opportunities to modify behaviour" she was immediately suspended and later sacked.

Such totalitarian action makes every word in her facebook post true (but nobody wants "truth").
But it was for gross misconduct that she was suspended and then sacked...So I shall accept your apology, thank you very much.

It's not remotely totalitarian. She'd been a pastoral worker at the school and as such should really know better than to do what she did. It would be far more totalitarian if she got her way and her views on LGBTQ+ issues were dismissed as "against God's law". At least you can try to do something aboput the law of the land; laws "created" by imaginary beings to suit some eejits, less so.

The posing under her maiden name suggests an intent to deceive to get round her contractual obligations.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 10:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
See also Matthew 6:5.
Huh, I did not know this verse existed. Next question that comes to my mind: Does the bible actually say "Churches need to be built" or are churches just another thing on a long list of "Since god does not answer, ever, we make stuff up und pretend it's totally ok with him. Oh, btw, god wants us to build buildings in which we totally should worship him"
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Old 22nd September 2020, 10:30 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by RedStapler View Post
And that's why "Believe and pray at home and in church as much as you want but keep your beliefs to yourself and out of public institutions" would be an awesome way to handle the problem of religion.

She uses that special religious logic, god made everything, god cant make mistakes so what I don’t like is wrong. I’ve always retorted back with something along the lines of “it’s you that is saying god made a mistake”. Doesn’t get through to them of course as the religious argument is just a whitewash for their bigotry.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 10:45 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
It also doesn't go into any detail about the allegedly extreme language she's said to have used in her posts. On the face of it this seems a strong reaction; on the other hand, having seen how difficult it is to get any action taken against a school employee who flagrantly undermines the messages given out by the school (one of my kids' physics teachers, a young Earth creationist, told the class he was teaching that the science of radioactive decay was completely wrong but he was required by law to teach them that it was true, and the school refused to take any action whatsoever), I'm inclined to suspect, as does the OP, that there was a great deal more going on than a single complaint leading to an immediate sacking.

Dave
How is the highlighted part even possible?
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Old 22nd September 2020, 10:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Funnily enough, none of that is in the article. It simply says that she was sacked after an anonymous complaint was made to the school where she worked.

More importantly, it is not known if she was making facebook posts as a private individual or if she indicated that she was working at the school in question.

The UK still has strong employee protection legislation even for those in the private sector. Even for something that is suspected to be gross misconduct a full investigation will have to have been done, not by her manager, she will have been interviewed a minimum of once prior to any final decision being made, the interview will have to have been recorded and both her and the rep of the employer have to sign off on the notes of the meeting, she can challenge any aspect of what he is accused of doing. She would also have been entitled to have someone attend such a meeting, such as a union rep.

This wont have made it into the article because it isn’t anything unusual, it is literally “business as usual”.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 11:22 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jungle Jim View Post
How is the highlighted part even possible?
It's got to take some hardcore cognitive dissonance, or the belief that God perpetrated a massive hoax by creating the universe to appear much older than it really is.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 11:38 AM   #17
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From an ex governors experience, sacking a teacher is not a simple process. Months of meetings, training offers and if necessary lengthy holidays would precede any decisions of termination.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 11:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
The UK still has strong employee protection legislation even for those in the private sector. Even for something that is suspected to be gross misconduct a full investigation will have to have been done, not by her manager, she will have been interviewed a minimum of once prior to any final decision being made, the interview will have to have been recorded and both her and the rep of the employer have to sign off on the notes of the meeting, she can challenge any aspect of what he is accused of doing. She would also have been entitled to have someone attend such a meeting, such as a union rep.

This wont have made it into the article because it isn’t anything unusual, it is literally “business as usual”.
Quite: it is completely commonplace.

I was a NHS complaints investigator and so went through all the relevant training on that one; I also made a significant complaint aginst my then-manager and so had to experience that process from that side; said manager had also instituted some disciplinary against me, for which I correctly got my wrist slapped.

It is also a commonplace, especially in the more right wing bits of our media, that public sector workers are impossible to sack...
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Old 22nd September 2020, 11:55 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by welshdean View Post
From an ex governors experience, sacking a teacher is not a simple process. Months of meetings, training offers and if necessary lengthy holidays would precede any decisions of termination.

This was a “school assistant” according to the linked news stories, but if they didn’t follow the proper procedure presumably that would be the grounds for taking the school to the ET.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:03 PM   #20
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Schools have extra terrestrials?

Who would have guessed!
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:04 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
But it was for gross misconduct that she was suspended and then sacked...So I shall accept your apology, thank you very much.
Posting an opinion as a private individual was labeled "gross misconduct" just so that she could be sacked. I have no reason to apologize for pointing that out.

Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
It's not remotely totalitarian.
When one can be penalized just for posting an opinion that doesn't coincide with the official line then that is totalitarian.

Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
The posing under her maiden name suggests an intent to deceive to get round her contractual obligations.
Well she couldn't very well use the name "Carrot Flower King".
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Funnily enough, none of that is in the article. It simply says that she was sacked after an anonymous complaint was made to the school where she worked.

More importantly, it is not known if she was making facebook posts as a private individual or if she indicated that she was working at the school in question.
This is not America. Sacking someone from a job in the UK, Australia and NZ can only take place after a requisite number of written and verbal warnings have been given. It is especially difficult to sack a bad teacher because of the teacher's unions.

It is a given that if she has been sacked from a school in UK, it has been after she has been repeatedly warned and interviewed about her behaviour.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:33 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
This is not America. Sacking someone from a job in the UK, Australia and NZ can only take place after a requisite number of written and verbal warnings have been given. It is especially difficult to sack a bad teacher because of the teacher's unions.

It is a given that if she has been sacked from a school in UK, it has been after she has been repeatedly warned and interviewed about her behaviour.

On further consideration, I’m not quite sure about this. It could be that gross misconduct, which is what the story linked from the O/P says the cause of dismissal was, is something that could result in immediate dismissal. The question then arises of whether the conduct alleged actually rose to the level of “gross misconduct”.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:55 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
She uses that special religious logic, god made everything, god cant make mistakes so what I don’t like is wrong. I’ve always retorted back with something along the lines of “it’s you that is saying god made a mistake”. Doesn’t get through to them of course as the religious argument is just a whitewash for their bigotry.
That's a great retort, will definitely remember that for the next fitting occasion. In all honesty, I was never aware of this very obvious contradiction until now. Thanks a lot!
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Old 22nd September 2020, 12:56 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
On further consideration, I’m not quite sure about this. It could be that gross misconduct, which is what the story linked from the O/P says the cause of dismissal was, is something that could result in immediate dismissal. The question then arises of whether the conduct alleged actually rose to the level of “gross misconduct”.

That could go to the language of the posts, it was said to be extreme.

However, the problem with your suggestion is that the posts concerned were in October 2018, and the parent's complaint came within days. She was suspended and then later dismissed at a disciplinary hearing in August 2019 - that is a long period of time if the posts amounted gross misconduct worthy of immediate dismissal

The main problem here for Higgs is one of reliability. She was employed as a guidance counsellor at her school. With the strong beliefs she held, and expressed, it would be clear that she simply could not he relied upon to be impartial in her advice or treatment of a child that came to her for guidance in matters relating to their LGBTQ+ or gender feelings. While free speech does protect people with fundamentalist or extreme opinions, the school also has the more important duty of care to protect their students from exposure to such views by people seen as an authority by the students. You would not want a teacher with Neo-Nazi views teaching kids history (Holocaust denial for example), or teachers who are flat earthers teaching science (rockets don't work in space, etc).

People who hold fundamentalist and extremist views should not be permitted to hold positions of influence with children.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 01:12 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
...

People who hold fundamentalist and extremist views should not be permitted to hold positions of influence with children.
Getting more difficult to screen out, if not impossible in the normal context of a school interview. Many questions that later become apparent are often illegal to ask in the interview, especially religion.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 01:26 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by welshdean View Post
Getting more difficult to screen out, if not impossible in the normal context of a school interview. Many questions that later become apparent are often illegal to ask in the interview, especially religion.
That is true, but it is also true that the school is entitled to set its own policy (within the law) and that policy will be laid down in the contract the teacher signs (I know, because having been a teacher at one time, I have read and signed this type of contract)

If they breach the policy, and get fired because of it, they only have themselves to blame.

ETA: Just to be clear.. all my employees have a social media clause in their contract that prohibits them from doing things such as publicly disparaging the business, the products we sell or the brands of the companies we deal with. They are also not allowed to promote our competition. They are shown a copy of their contract at the first interview and are allowed to take a copy away for perusal. If they object to any clauses before the second interview, then there is no second interview.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 02:20 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
She uses that special religious logic, god made everything, god cant make mistakes so what I don’t like is wrong. I’ve always retorted back with something along the lines of “it’s you that is saying god made a mistake”. Doesn’t get through to them of course as the religious argument is just a whitewash for their bigotry.

As always I am stunned by the blinkered vision of the faithful. As was reported in The Guardian Article:

Quote:
Higgs explained in her statement her religious beliefs. “I believe that God created mankind as ‘male and female’ and what he has created is good. He does not make mistakes,” she said.
When one points out that homosexual behaviour is common in species other than human, or points to the multitude of "mistakes" God makes on a daily basis (as evidenced by physical deformities that everyone can see), it is shrugged of with not even a feeble argument by these faithful.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 02:23 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
It also doesn't go into any detail about the allegedly extreme language she's said to have used in her posts. On the face of it this seems a strong reaction; on the other hand, having seen how difficult it is to get any action taken against a school employee who flagrantly undermines the messages given out by the school (one of my kids' physics teachers, a young Earth creationist, told the class he was teaching that the science of radioactive decay was completely wrong but he was required by law to teach them that it was true, and the school refused to take any action whatsoever), I'm inclined to suspect, as does the OP, that there was a great deal more going on than a single complaint leading to an immediate sacking.

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Old 22nd September 2020, 03:08 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
When one points out that homosexual behaviour is common in species other than human, or points to the multitude of "mistakes" God makes on a daily basis (as evidenced by physical deformities that everyone can see), it is shrugged of with not even a feeble argument by these faithful.
The usual religious claim is that this is not a bug, its a feature. God is never mistaken, and anything that looks like a mistake is all part of God's plan because He is never mistaken. Its the usual self supporting rubbish...

Rule 1: God is never wrong
Rule 2: If God is ever wrong, Rule 1 applies
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Old 22nd September 2020, 10:37 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
ETA: Just to be clear.. all my employees have a social media clause in their contract that prohibits them from doing things such as publicly disparaging the business, the products we sell or the brands of the companies we deal with. They are also not allowed to promote our competition. They are shown a copy of their contract at the first interview and are allowed to take a copy away for perusal. If they object to any clauses before the second interview, then there is no second interview.
That is all well and good.

It's when you included clauses prohibiting your employees from publicly making pro-religious statements as a private individual that you would go over the line.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 11:06 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That is all well and good.

It's when you included clauses prohibiting your employees from publicly making pro-religious statements as a private individual that you would go over the line.
If their pro-religious statements disparage my company's activities and practices, then the fact that those statements are "religious" gives the emplyee no protection from being fired. You're entitled to your religious views, but you are NOT entitled to use them as a shield from the consequences of violating company policy.

This Higgs woman tried to do exactly that; her public pronouncements criticised the school's polices, practices and activities.

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Last edited by smartcooky; 22nd September 2020 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 11:10 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
She uses that special religious logic, god made everything, god cant make mistakes so what I don’t like is wrong. I’ve always retorted back with something along the lines of “it’s you that is saying god made a mistake”. Doesn’t get through to them of course as the religious argument is just a whitewash for their bigotry.
I've tried similar lines before. The retort I got back was God is infallible. He gave man free will. It is man who has used this free will to corrupt the world.
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Old 22nd September 2020, 11:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
The usual religious claim is that this is not a bug, its a feature. God is never mistaken, and anything that looks like a mistake is all part of God's plan because He is never mistaken. Its the usual self supporting rubbish...

I think they call it “theoidiocy”, or something like that.
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Old 23rd September 2020, 12:23 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
This Higgs woman tried to do exactly that; her public pronouncements criticised the school's polices, practices and activities.
Wrong. You only have to look at the link that Carrot Flower King provided above (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-new...-lgbt-22719934) to see that she did no such thing. She never mentioned the school nor her role in the education system.

She was criticizing the Government Consultation into making Relationships Education mandatory in primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education mandatory in secondary schools. She was sacked for not agreeing with government policy.
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Old 23rd September 2020, 12:39 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Wrong. You only have to look at the link that Carrot Flower King provided above (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-new...-lgbt-22719934) to see that she did no such thing. She never mentioned the school nor her role in the education system.

She was criticizing the Government Consultation into making Relationships Education mandatory in primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education mandatory in secondary schools. She was sacked for not agreeing with government policy.
Quote:
“As a Christian, I believe it is morally necessary to speak out in defence of the Bible truth when false and harmful doctrines are being promoted.”
Calling them "false and harmful" is a lot more than "not agreeing".
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Old 23rd September 2020, 12:48 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Wrong. You only have to look at the link that Carrot Flower King provided above (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-new...-lgbt-22719934) to see that she did no such thing. She never mentioned the school nor her role in the education system.

She was criticizing the Government Consultation into making Relationships Education mandatory in primary schools and Relationships and Sex Education mandatory in secondary schools. She was sacked for not agreeing with government policy.
Now, please show how your position does not contradict any grounding/first principle in any democracy. No rights -- rights being protected by the same government based on that principle -- can be sustained if they are contradicted by law or policy. Let's see that first principle first. No fair quoting dead men or writings by others, or existing legal systems, as this is foundational; your own words, please.

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I AGREE

I think you will find, along your tortured path, that you need to introduce a contradiction if you hold that gender identity disqualifies someone as protected. You will also find that advocating for such a measure is an attack on -- gee -- your own principles.

I'll let you figure it out.
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Old 23rd September 2020, 12:56 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
This is not America. Sacking someone from a job in the UK, Australia and NZ can only take place after a requisite number of written and verbal warnings have been given.
Utter nonsense - serious misconduct requires no precedent and is usually cause for immediate termination.
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Old 23rd September 2020, 01:38 AM   #39
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"Summary dismissal
You can be dismissed for ‘gross misconduct’ without your employer going through the normal disciplinary procedures. This can happen if, for example, you’re violent towards a colleague, customer or property.

Your employer should always investigate the circumstances before making a dismissal, even in possible gross misconduct cases."

https://www.gov.uk/dismissal/reasons...n-be-dismissed
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Old 23rd September 2020, 02:35 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Utter nonsense - serious misconduct requires no precedent and is usually cause for immediate termination.
Yes and no.

To the no: You still have to be careful to follow "due process" in the UK. Say you caught an employee literally nicking money from the till, she was caught red handed and it's crystal clear on the CCTV you still would not want to sack her on the spot. What you would do - to cover your arse and to be fair to the employee - is immediately suspend the employee. Then gather and document the incident - which would usually include an interview with the employee - after all there may have been some entirely innocent explanation - then evaluate the evidence and then proceed to the dismissal for gross misconduct.

To the yes: I've never seen an employment contract yet that doesn't have gross misconduct as grounds for immediate termination, with no passing go.
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