Freedom State United Kingdom

Christian teacher reported to Counter Terrorism as “radicalisation threat” after telling student, “God loves you”

A government-funded pre-apprenticeship academy in Bristol reported a Christian teacher to Counter Terrorism after they deemed her a “radicalisation threat.” Svetlana Powell, a teacher of almost 20 years, was fired for “gross misconduct” after she answered a student’s question about her faith.

The incident took place after a disruptive student became argumentative about the tutor’s personal beliefs. Other students soon joined the conversation and began challenging Mrs Powell’s faith on various issues. The student who initially challenged the teacher then asked for her personal views on homosexuality.

Mrs Powell responded by stating that she believed homosexuality was against God’s will. After another student informed the teacher that she identifies as a lesbian, Mrs Powell told the student, “God loves you.” The disruptive student later reported Mrs Powell to the Academy manager, who then informed Mrs Powell that she would be taking the complaint to Human Resources. The next day, Mrs Powell was told she was suspended.

Mrs Powell was then invited to a disciplinary hearing where she was questioned about her faith, and then told her contract would be terminated. Mrs Powell was told to leave the Academy immediately and that any appeal to her dismissal would be denied.

According to Life Site News, “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 ‘radicalisation threat’ until she brought a legal claim against the Academy and read Mrs Prigg’s witness statement for the Tribunal.”

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