Suspended Christian teacher back at work

A Christian teacher from London who was punished for objecting to a one-sided training day about homosexuality will be back at work next term.

Kwabena Peat, 54, was suspended in January after he complained that a staff training day was used to promote gay rights and marginalise those who disagreed with homosexual practice.

He was charged with gross misconduct but an appeal panel of school governors has decided the charge was disproportionate and Mr Peat will return to work when the new term commences in September.

He has been supported by the Christian Legal Centre which celebrates its first anniversary this week.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and director of the Christian Legal Centre, said it was “a great victory for common sense”.

She said: “Mr Peat simply expressed a Christian viewpoint and objected to the school undermining parental rights regarding the education of their children on sexual ethics.

“He should be applauded for challenging the new political orthodoxy in an attempt to protect children rather than face such harsh intimidation.”

The story hit the headlines in April when it emerged that Mr Peat, who is head of year at a North London secondary school, had walked out of a compulsory training session on the subject of homosexuality along with several other Christian colleagues.

The session included a presentation by Sue Sanders, a co-founder of the Schools Out organisation which promotes a homosexual agenda in schools, in which she questioned whether heterosexuality was “natural”.

According to Mr Peat there was no opportunity for those with a different point of view to respond.

He wrote to three staff who organised the event and complained about the “aggressive” presentation of gay rights. His letter also referred to his religious beliefs about homosexuality.

The recipients of the letter said they felt “harassed and intimidated” by it. Following an investigation, Mr Peat was suspended on full pay.

Mr Peat said he had expected the training session merely to provide information to help teachers handle homophobic bullying, but the guest speaker had gone much further.

In April he said: “She started promoting homosexual lifestyles and suggesting those who had objections should sort out their prejudices.

“She said, ‘What makes you all think that to be heterosexual is natural?’ It was at that point I walked out.”


‘Do not say God bless’ council sacks Christian

A London council that bans staff from saying “God bless” at work has sacked a Christian employee for discussing his faith.

Duke Amachree, a homelessness prevention officer, was initially suspended for suggesting that a terminally ill woman look to God for help.

After investigating the incident his employer, Wandsworth Council in London, has decided to dismiss him from his job.

His solicitor, Michael Phillips, says during an investigation meeting Mr Amachree was told it is inappropriate to ever talk about God in the workplace and that he could be disciplined even if he said “God bless” to clients.

Mr Phillips said: “On 17 March, Mr Amachree’s employers told him that ‘God had to be kept out of the workplace’. He was accused of crossing boundaries. The issue of religion, according to the interviewer, should not be raised in a housing issue.

“I, on behalf of Mr Amachree, queried this statement by asking if ‘God bless’ would be an appropriate comment. He was told that it would not be appropriate and that any complaint would again lead to an investigation.”

But Wandsworth Council has accused Mr Phillips of taking remarks made in the meeting out of context.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “We are supporting Mr Amachree in this case because it is absurd and unjust to think that any public body could be in a position to enforce a policy which means that you can’t even say ‘God Bless’.

“This would effectively mean that faith would become entirely privatised. A Christian cannot leave faith out of any aspect of his or her life including work.”

Earlier this year, commenting after a spate of cases involving Christians being punished at work, the Archbishop of York said: “There is no more urgent time than now to break down the compartmentalised thinking that separates trust in God from the world of work.”

In an article for the Daily Mail he wrote: “Asking someone to leave their belief in God at the door of their workplace is akin to asking them to remove their skin colour before coming into the office. Faith in God is not an add-on or optional extra.”

He continued: “Those who display intolerance and ignorance, and would relegate the Christian faith to just another disposable lifestyle choice, argue that they operate in pursuit of policies based on the twin aims of ‘diversity and equality’.

“Yet, in the minds of those charged with implementing such policies, ‘diversity’ apparently means every colour and creed except Christianity”.