A school in the UK has reported its chaplain to an anti-terrorism unit after Christian students were told they were allowed to disagree with LGBT ideology.
Rev Dr Bernard Randall, 48, made the remarks during a June 21, 2019 sermon delivered at Trent College near Nottingham.
The sermon was reportedly prompted by students who were concerned about an organisation called Educate & Celebrate, which was invited to “embed gender, gender identity and sexual orientation into the fabric” of the school.
Dr Elly Barnes, the organisation’s founder, was in the headlines at the time after claiming her organisation was training school teachers to “completely smash heteronormativity” by making LGBT ideology an “everyday occurrence within the school.”
According to The Mail on Sunday, the program urged teachers to chant “Smash heteronormativity” during a training session; required students to adopt gender-neutral uniforms; and discouraged pupils from referring to each other as “boys” and “girls.”
“The chanting was frankly bizarre and I felt uncomfortable,” Dr Randall told The Mail. “It was all very cleverly put together though – her rhetorical skills were impressive.
“She started off slowly with general things about anti bullying and diversity, which no one could object to. But then the focus moved to gender identity and an introduction to the language of trans.
“And there seemed to be an emphasis on instruction rather than suggestion,” he said.
In the sermon, Dr Randall urged students to “treat each other with respect,” adding: “You should no more be told you have to accept LGBT ideology than you should be told you must be in favour of Brexit or must be Muslim.”
Soon after, Dr Randall was told the sermon was inflammatory, divisive and “harmful to LGBT pupils.” He was then secretly reported to the Government’s anti-terrorism programme, Prevent.
“I was terrified when I found out,” Dr Randall said. “I had a vision of being investigated by MI5, of men coming to my house at dawn and knocking down the front door. What was I supposed to tell my family?”
Dr Randall said he had gone to great lengths with his sermon to stress that students must respect each other, no matter what, even when there is a disagreement.
Derbyshire Police conducted an investigation into the incident, but advised the school that their chaplain posed “no counter-terrorism risk, or risk of radicalisation.” Police said the sermon “did not meet the threshold for a Prevent referral,” which identifies those at risk of radicalisation.
“I am not ashamed to say I cried with relief when I was told that the report to Prevent was not going to be taken further,” Dr Randall said.