Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christian teacher sacked as she is told that sharing her faith is 'bullying'

As Cranmer retires for the evening, glowing with festive merriment after a few glasses of Shiraz and the news that the Conservative Party is on course for a landslide, he hears from The Daily Mail of a Christian teacher who has lost her job after simply discussing her faith and offering to pray for a mother and her sick child:

'Olive Jones, a 54-year-old mother of two, who taught maths to children too ill to attend school, was dismissed following a complaint from the girl’s mother. She was visiting the home of the child when she spoke about her belief in miracles and asked whether she could say a prayer, but when the mother indicated they were not believers she did not go ahead.

'Mrs Jones was then called in by her managers who, she says, told her that sharing her faith with a child could be deemed to be bullying and informed her that her services were no longer required.

'Her dismissal has outraged Christian groups, who say new equality regulations are driving Christianity to the margins of society.

'They said the case echoed that of community nurse Caroline Petrie, who was suspended last December after offering to pray for a patient but who was later reinstated after a national outcry.

'Coincidentally, Mrs Petrie lives nearby and has been a friend of Mrs Jones for some years. Mrs Jones, whose youngest son is a Royal Marine who has served in Afghanistan, said she was merely trying to offer comfort and encouragement and only later realised her words had caused distress, for which she is apologetic.

The softly spoken teacher, who has more than 20 years’ experience, said she was ‘devastated’ by the decision to end her employment, which she said was ‘completely disproportionate’.

'She said she had been made to feel like a ‘criminal’, and claimed that Christians were being persecuted because of ‘political correctness’.

'Speaking at her home in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, she said: ‘Teaching was my dream from the age of 16. It is as if 20 years of my work, which I was passionate about, has gone. It is like a grief.

‘I have been sleeping badly and been in a daze. I haven’t even got around to putting up a Christmas tree or decorations. So much for Christmas cheer.’

'Mrs Jones shares her comfortable four-bedroom house with her husband Peter, who is also a teacher and heads the maths department at a local state secondary school.

'The house provides few clues about her strong beliefs. There is a small wooden cross on one wall, a few plaques carrying religious texts, and some Bibles in the sitting room which she used in her studies for a diploma at the Pentecostal Carmel Bible College in Bristol.

'She is a regular churchgoer, attending her local Church of England church most Sundays, but she also occasionally opts for more lively evangelical worship at the college.

After training to be a teacher at Aberystwyth University, where she met her husband, and a period bringing up her children – student Rob, 24, and soldier James, 23 – she returned to teaching in state secondary schools and sixth-form colleges.

'Oak Hill Short Stay School where Olive Jones worked. She lost her job after offering to pray for a sick child.

'Wanting to concentrate more on family life, she began a part-time job more than four years ago at the Oak Hill Short Stay School and Tuition Service North, which caters for children with illness or behavioural difficulties.

'She had no formal contract but was scheduled to work to a timetable for about 12 hours a week at the school in a converted bungalow and one-storey prefabricated block in nearby Nailsea.

'She prepared lessons, taught and marked work for about six children between 11 and 16 who had problems ranging from leukaemia to Attention Deficit Disorder. In reality, however, pupils were frequently unavailable for lessons, and she says she often found herself working as little as 20 hours a month.

'As she was technically a supply teacher, she was paid £25 an hour plus mileage and had to submit a timesheet. While she was working, she was paid about £700 a month before tax and pension contributions by North Somerset Council, and received payslips.

'Occasionally she would teach one or two sick children at their homes, and from September she made half-a-dozen visits to one child in a middle-class area who she was tutoring in GCSE maths.

'On the fourth visit the girl stayed in her bedroom because she did not feel well enough for lessons, so Mrs Jones chatted to her mother and raised the subject of her faith, saying she believed God had saved her life.

'The teacher said when she was a teenager she had been driving a tractor on the family farm near Carmarthen in Wales when it slid down a slope but came to a halt just before tipping over.

‘I shut my eyes and thought I was going to die,’ said Mrs Jones. ‘Then there was a sound of a rushing wind, like that described in the Bible, and then total stillness.

‘I was convinced it was a miracle. I shared my testimony to encourage the mother to believe that there is a God who answers prayer. I believe I have a personal relationship with God, who is a constant source of strength.’

'Unbeknown to Mrs Jones, the mother complained about her comments to health authorities in the mistaken belief that they were her employers. It appears, however, that these criticisms were not passed on to Mrs Jones.

'Unaware that there were any problems, Mrs Jones’s fifth lesson with the child passed without incident, but when she returned for her sixth session towards the end of last month, things went awry.

'She said that although the girl came downstairs in her dressing gown, she could not face a lesson, so the three of them chatted over cups of tea about books they were reading. Mrs Jones once again referred to the incident involving the tractor and spoke about her belief in Heaven.

‘I told them there were people praying for them, and I asked the child if I could pray for her,’ said Mrs Jones.

‘She looked at her mother, who said, “We come from a family who do not believe”, so I did not pray.

‘I asked the mother if she wanted me to cancel the next lesson as her daughter had not been feeling up to maths, but she said no.’

'She left on what she thought were good terms and returned to the unit to do some more work, but within a few hours she was told that the head of the unit, Kaye Palmer-Greene, wanted to see her in her office.

‘I suspected it must be serious as Kaye did not normally see people without an appointment,’ said Mrs Jones. ‘When I got to her office I was told to wait outside.

‘Then the unit co-ordinator Karen Robinson came out and said I would have to come back later. I could tell by her face I was in big trouble.

‘I asked her if I was being sacked but she refused to comment. I drove to a Tesco car park and sat in the car and called a few friends to ask them to pray.’

About an hour-and-a-half later she was told she could go back to the office, and she went in holding a Bible. ‘You could feel the tension in air,’ she said. ‘I was so frightened I could hardly breathe.

‘I was a total wreck. I was shaking and in shock. I had never experienced anything like this before. I had a faultless record. It was horrible, one of the worst experiences of my life.

‘They were very strict and firm. Kaye was mostly silent while Karen read comments from the parent from a sheet of A4 paper. One thing the parent said was that I had demanded a cup of tea, which I hadn’t.

‘Then she said that my testimony and mention of prayer had distressed her and her daughter, and she didn’t want me to tutor in their home again. Obviously, if I had known she was upset when I had first mentioned my testimony I would never have brought it up again. But I had no idea.

‘I don’t push my beliefs down other people’s throats, and I apologise for any unintentional distress I may have caused.’

'Mrs Jones said that during the meeting Ms Robinson told her that talking about faith issues in the house of a pupil could be regarded as bullying.

'Ms Robinson also asked Mrs Jones why she had ignored her advice not to pray or speak about her faith at work, a reference to an occasion three years ago when the teacher had prayed for a girl with period pains.

'The girl appears to have complained and Ms Robinson had told Mrs Jones to be more professional, but Mrs Jones said there had been no written warning.

‘Karen then said I had been an exemplary maths teacher, but my services were no longer required. As I had no contract, they could tell me to go just like that.

‘They also told me that had I been on a contract, I could be facing disciplinary proceedings. But they never told me the grounds for that.’

'Mrs Jones was advised by a friend to contact the Christian Legal Centre, an independent group of lawyers funded by public donations that defends Christians in legal difficulties.

‘I am not angry with my bosses, as they are trying to interpret new equality and diversity policies,’ she said. ‘But I am angry with the politically-correct system and about the fact that you can’t mention anything to do with faith to people who might find it of use.

'My main concern is the interpretation of the policies concerned, which seem very ambiguous.

‘An atheist may think that you shouldn’t speak about anything to do with faith to students if it is not your specialist area, but it is not really clear.

‘It is as if my freedom of speech is being restricted. I feel I am being persecuted for speaking about my faith in a country that is supposed to be Christian.

‘I feel if I had spoken about almost any other topic I would have been fine but Christianity is seen as a no-go area. It felt as if I was being treated as a criminal. It is like a bad dream that had come true.’

'She said that although she was clear that she had been sacked, she had recently been approached by a senior education official who had said the complaint was still being investigated and had suggested a meeting.

'She said she believed the approach had been triggered by the involvement of the Christian Legal Centre, and she was now taking legal advice about how to proceed.

'Andrea Williams, a lawyer and director of the Christian Legal Centre, said: ‘The story of Olive Jones is sadly becoming all too familiar in this country. It is the result of a heavy-handed so-called equalities agenda that discriminates against Christians and seeks to eliminate Christian expression from the public square.

‘Olive Jones had compassion for her pupil and finds herself without a job because she expressed the hope that comes with faith. It is time for a common sense approach to be restored in all these matters.’

'She said that although Mrs Jones was not on a contract and had occasionally taken time out from her teaching duties during term time, the Centre would argue that she had effectively worked continuously for the unit for nearly five years and should have had some protection under employment law.

'Mrs Williams said the human rights lawyer Paul Diamond – who represented Heathrow check-in worker Nadia Eweida, who in 2006 was banned from wearing a cross around her neck – had been instructed in the case.

'Nurse Caroline Petrie described Mrs Jones, whom she met through her church more than four years ago, as a ‘caring, honest and lovely person’ whose gentle voice and manner were perfect for dealing with sick children.

'She said she had been shocked that the teacher had been dismissed without being allowed to consult a lawyer first.

'Nick Yates, a spokesman for North Somerset Council, said: ‘Olive Jones has worked as a supply teacher, working with the North Somerset Tuition service. A complaint has been made by a parent regarding Olive. This complaint is being investigated.

‘To complete the investigation we need to speak to Olive and we have offered her a number of dates so this can happen. At the moment we are waiting for her to let us know which date is convenient for her.’


Blogger Dr.D said...

Sounds very dangerous to be a Christian in England these days.

19 December 2009 at 23:29  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Reading the article your grace there does seem to be a certain logic , middle class home who does not believe (although they believe somthing) , olives traditional christian belief to talk about god that a spiritual problem could be present.
Easy to see how said woman thought to define it as bullying as the word indoctrination would no doubt blow her own world apart.

Wesley often ran the gauntlet where he preached his new evangelism , in that light perhaps olive got off fairly lightly.

It is funny that you cannot descriminate when you employ someone and yet a service user has a right to expect no human deviations from the institution.

I await for the case when a bishop is pulled up before a tribuneral for talking about god in his sermon in a forcefull manner , when the plaintiff in the congregation had only attended sunday service to sit and enjoy the archtechture .

perhaps a sign on the church "warning conversations within this place are like to contain explicit scenes of christ"

If a christian can now be sacked for talking about god , why cannot a citizen go to tinsel taliban town hall and issue a writ that it was offensive that all references to christ had been removed !!

My first reaction was the fear and danger of seeking life through christ as now being legally defined as some sort of mental illness , however when you turn it around you realise that is those who seek to exspunge it that are filled with lesser .

20 December 2009 at 00:19  
Anonymous len said...

Olive Jones offers prayer to a pupil.
Sacked from her job for 'bullying'

Can the authorities not see they are doing the very thing they are accusing this poor lady of?

How long before Christians are criminalized?( perhaps its already happened)

20 December 2009 at 00:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it would be before europe is islamised.i have seen people talk about minarets in switzerland but not about the lack of churches in saudi arabia.this is a slow propaganda machine funded by arabian petro dollars.shame on england.

20 December 2009 at 01:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it would be before europe is islamised.i have seen people talk about minarets in switzerland but not about the lack of churches in saudi arabia.this is a slow propaganda machine funded by arabian petro dollars.shame on england.

20 December 2009 at 01:15  
Anonymous IanCad said...

Poor Mrs. Jones, may our prayers sustain her.
Conservative landslide? I hope not. Cameron is Brown-Lite. A Tory victory now will mean more of the same with perhaps a little tweaking here and there.
From John Major to the spooky Michael Howard and now David Camera the party leaders have been a joke.
No, it's got to hurt a lot more, only then, maybe, will some true blue emerge to reform the party. Prepare for a rough ride.

20 December 2009 at 01:31  
Anonymous churchmouse said...

What a terrible thing it is - no longer to be free in your own country.

I wonder - are crosses banned if mothers wear them when accompanying children to school?

Do BA forbid wearing of crosses by fare-paying passengers?

Do all the alien hospital employees fall about in horror if visitors wear crosses and pray with the patients they're killing?

How do we know whether aliens tell the truth in court? What do they swear on? Or do they merely affirm?

We need some form of rebellion. We need it now.

20 December 2009 at 04:58  
Blogger Bill Sticker said...

I am no Christian, but whenever one has said that 'they will remember me in their prayers', my reaction has always been to thank them for their kindness. Calling for Mrs Jones' dismissal says more about the family than anything else.

Just because you don't agree with someone's beliefs doesn't mean you have to hate them. That's petty.

20 December 2009 at 07:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another of the State's Righteous exercising her right to be offended and a disproportionate response by employers.

I do hope that Mrs Jones pursues this successfully.


20 December 2009 at 09:32  
Anonymous Stuart said...

This is a sick country and I mean that literally.

20 December 2009 at 09:35  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Even non church going Christians offer to pray for somebody who is dying to comfort those in distress.
Culturally it means I wish you to ease your pain and give you comfort.
There are a number of reasons why a Christian doesn't attend Church
but still prays.A lot of people live Christian ethical lives(including prayer) but may not agree with all the teachings of the Church.

I hope these persecuted people are
getting practical support from
the Christian leaders.This is a terrible state of affairs .There's a deja vu feeling of Nazi Germany
about your country.Who would have thought it? England.

20 December 2009 at 10:17  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...


I am inclined to agree somewhat with Ian Cad. Can His grace enlighten us about what it is that the Conservatives are saying that gives Him such confidence that any of this persecution is likely to change? I have heard nothing to the contrary that it will be anything different to what is taking place under the present governance of that sick dog Brown. And I will say that he is a sick dog that needs putting down. But please do share what it is that makes you so confident because I can sense that it is not just myself who sees Cameron as nothing more than another sick dog.

I mean is it simply a case of each to their own or what? Are we to simply subscribe to this kind of narrow mindedness in some kind of loyalty suicide pact where we at least get to die with our own sort?

20 December 2009 at 10:20  
OpenID yokel said...

"And then shall many be offended ..." Matthew 24 v10

20 December 2009 at 10:32  
Anonymous philip walling said...

One of my godsons was asked to write down, for the Offsted inspectors of his fee paying school, what he thought about the school.

He wrote (amongst other things) whether the inspectors did not think it a bit heavy-handed of the headmaster to threaten the pupils with a beating if they said anything derogatory about his school to the authorities.

The boy's parents were contacted, very quickly, by the head of the social services department about a very serious matter relating to their son's human rights.
They involved the police, and his mother was told she would have to be 'interviewed' by them and the social services, and they insisted on coming to her home to do this.

Her son assured her it was a joke and was amazed by the fuss it had caused.

She told social services, but they would not accept her explanation and insisted on interviewing the headmaster (30 years unblemished service), but not the boy. Eventually (after spending enough man-hours amply to justify their existence) they 'took it no further', although it will remain on the 'headmaster's record'.
Finally my godson's parents (both lawyers) received a strongly worded letter justifying SS's intervention on 'child protection' grounds and ending with 'I trust that your son has learned his lesson from this very serious incident'.

It's not just Christians who are being persecuted, but anybody who has the temerity to be an individual with a sense of humour. The modern state doesn't like humour - too powerful a weapon against them.

We are told that we are depending on the next generation to get us out of the economic mess this generation has caused. If I was 16 with a bit of independence of spirit, I would tell the old bastards they could look after themselves and withdraw to Mt Athos.

20 December 2009 at 10:37  
Anonymous Your Mother Darns Socks in Hell said...

Maybe they are beyond prayers and it is an exorcism they need.

20 December 2009 at 10:41  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...


We are all in need of a national exorcism. Sometime very soon. Maybe Cranmer could exercise some influence and ask Cameron to give us a sign (a different one).

20 December 2009 at 10:49  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...

Let's be fair though, there is nothing that has been said that makes us believe that we will have anything much different under the Tories. All we are hearing is cuts. There was a good joke about this on the Marr farce this morning about how the the first thing the Tories would do is make cuts, and how it would be the second thing Labour would do. So we all know that cuts are inevitable so why make this some kind of election master stroke?

Ans as for beating up burglars, all I can add to this is that no matter who is in government, if you come into my house at night with weapons you will more than likely get a piece of wood wrapped around your face. Enough of the gimmicks and reactionary media propaganda and let's have some thing substantial. My suspicions are that the reason we do not hear anything of substance is because we are too far gone and no-one can possibly commit to anything much different to what the sick dog is giving us now.

20 December 2009 at 11:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with you from Poland.
I'm write from Kalisz (the oldest city in the Poland).
Luke Wolski

20 December 2009 at 12:02  
Anonymous Semper Fidelis said...

It is not well with you in the West (UK, France). You abandon our holy Christian faith for the benefit of the void (atheism). Islam shall gladly fill that void. French churches are closed and mosques are build.

Greetings from Poland - a bastion of Catholicism!

20 December 2009 at 12:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems the link in the Catholic Herald is belling in so to speak.

20 December 2009 at 12:16  
Anonymous Tacitus said...

Proprium humani ingenii est odisse quem laeseris

20 December 2009 at 13:04  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

I am amazed at the attitude of the mother who made the complaint. If she didn't want the prayers offered, why didn't she decline them at the time. What possessed her to make a formal complaint. I hope she recognises what she has done and feels some scintilla of remorse. This sounds a bit like the muslim who was 'offended' by the hoteliers in Liverpool. Some people are just looking to be offended.

20 December 2009 at 13:32  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

It is high time to expose the State-ideology - the State-religion if you will - that is anti-christ, which has become normative in the Western nations and limits other people's faiths and ideologies by it's dominant position and power of Law!

It is high time to reckognize and address 'un-belief,' with it's faith in evolution, as a religion, who worships MAN as the highest authority and the earth as the mother of mankind. It has been packed in Marxist political-correctism, integration, and salvation by 'science.'

So called atheïsm is a faith! Namely the faith that there is no God and that there is only the material world! And that all creation 'evolved' into what can now be observed.

It is high time to reckognize the deception of the unwritten State-religion of POLITICAL-CORRECTISM (which is Marxist) and it's dominance and abuse of the power of the State!

And to OBJECT and resist the abuse of State-power to make it the normative factor in the land.

For this State-religion of unbelief, does not accept to be one of the many religions, faiths, ideologies in the land, nay, it has positioned itself above the Throne of God and taken (legislative and other-) Power and Dominance in the land, and demand all mankind to obey it's command!

It makes all other religions equal to each other (in value and rights, which is false also! For Islam or any other religion or ideology is NOT in any way equal to Christianity! As Allah is in no way equal to God and Christ!) but itself MORE EQUAL...

It makes the lifestyle of homosexuality not only of 'equal value, with equal rights' to the lifestyle of God-ordained marriage of one man with one woman - up to recently held into high esteem as the cornerstone of society, that was protected by law - but makes it 'MORE EQUAL!' Even to the point of demanding by (abuse of) State-force that homosexuals be hired as teachers (etc.) by Christian schools etc.

This can never be! This means the destruction of Christianity! Which has been it's intention from the beginning! And it shows the devil all over!

We can not allow this to continue unopposed any longer! If required we will fight to the death...and shed our blood as did Christ Himself, as well as His martyrs.

The true Church of Jesus Christ must STOP TO REMAIN SILENT! We are not to be sheep led to the slaughter! Jesus Christ did that for us. One sacrifice! Once and for all.

We are required to obey God more than man!

For more: Go to my website (I like to hyperlink it, but Cranmer does not like that)

20 December 2009 at 14:43  
Anonymous Stuart said...

Will the Tories carry on with this 'equality' madness?

20 December 2009 at 14:46  
Anonymous Satan said...

Listen, my children, after all these years of Labour, what you need now is some R+R in Hell - no seriously, you will find it refreshing and invigorating, then you can come back with fighting spirit.

20 December 2009 at 14:53  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

She has paid the price for being “off message” and deviating from approved conversational norms. “Big G” is no longer mentioned in “correct” society.

Political Correctness reigns as a clear and present threat to all freedom of expression and ultimately to freedom of association. It is already a domineering malignity in the public sector workplace and a prime example of systemic bullying. A bludgeon in the hands of the political class and their bureaucratic underlings to repress opinions and ideas the elite do not approve of.

Teachers are particularly at risk in this environment since the elite demand 100% allegiance to politically inspired orthodoxy regarding the “education” of children. It is evident that Local Education Authorities “don't do God” - anyway, not the Christian God.

20 December 2009 at 15:07  
Blogger dutchlionfrans1953 said...

In addition: This State-religion holds Christianity to her interpretation of the separation of Church and State (though this is totally un-biblical) but as she refuses to be reckognised and acknowledged as a religion feels no such separation applies to her!

This way the religion of EVOLUTION has infiltrated the schools
, even under the guise of being scientifically proven, and the doctrine of CREATION has not been allowed to be taught as this was against the 'separation of church and state.' And the church swollowed this lie with hook and sinker!

The State-doctrine that homosexuality is normal and the lie that homosexuals are born as homosexuals ( every ex-homosexual proves this is a lie - hence they are so passionately HATED BY HOMOSEXUALS) is now being pushed by the state into our (Christian) schools, the media, society.

And on and on it goes.

And most of the church has allowed it to develop into this oppressive force, that can and now DOES ruin people's lives, the church, the school...yeah society! most Christians are so divided...and this even Christians are doubly ruined as they seek justice through the devil's courts... and have enormous legal fees to pay for the worst parasites of society: lawyers and courts!

And this of course is what the devil - who is the Force behind it - has intended it to do from the beginning.

Make no mistake about it: The State has committed the very very very worst crimes against mankind throughout history.

Only in the 20th century governments have been guilty of the deaths of 262 million people. This does NOT count the indirect deaths because of vaccinations, and other measures of government!

Read Prof. R.J. Rummel's book Death by Government

So the very worst killing-machine of the devil is the State!

A State that has unlimited power and is NOT restricted by the Church, is always on the path to self-destruction!

20 December 2009 at 15:10  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...

If this carries on for much longer I swear I am going to turn the other cheek, by God it's true!

20 December 2009 at 15:15  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

Interesting blog by Tom Harris MP on this subject today -

worth a peep

20 December 2009 at 16:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

On what does the legitimacy of this State exist ? Coercion ? Does it enjoy more than passive acceptance ?

If the institutions have been infiltrated by those seeking to impose through legal machinery their doctrines must they be accepted because they have the form if not the substance ?

What is the basis of government today and is it durable ? Or are we seeing a house of cards awaiting a gust of wind ?

20 December 2009 at 17:04  
Blogger Karen said...

It is another sad day in the UK where once missionaries were sent out in their droves to bring the Gospel of salvation to a lost and hopeless world, and indeed they did. Praise God for someone who is willing to finally do what God has been telling us to do. Has the UK become a communist country that forbids the use of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ? God forbid this should happen. Come on then all your who fear the name of the Lord in the UK, let us pray and not stop. The Holy Spirit will have his way in the country.

20 December 2009 at 17:05  
Blogger Karen said...

and I will say God with a capital G, and I will mention the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The gates of hell will not prevail against the Church of God.

20 December 2009 at 17:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's employed as a maths teacher not a vicar!! What right does she have to raise/impose her beliefs in the private home of a client?

Also, she's previously been warned about this very issue, now she’s ignored the warning and upset a family, in particular a sick child. She deserves to be disciplined.

What everyone on this thread seems to be arguing is the right for employees (nurses, teachers, social workers etc) to use their roles as means to evangelise on some of societies most vulnerable people.

How would you react if a doctor visited your house and he started telling an ill relative that Islam could help and they should join him in prayer to Allah?.....give the Doc a thick and kick him out the house that's how I'd react - and that's exactly how I'd have reacted to 'likeable' Mrs Jones as well!!

We all a right to be free from religion, especially from state employees - fortunately, the courts understand that.

20 December 2009 at 17:18  
Anonymous IanCad said...

Stuart 14:46
Of course they will. Read Cameron's Hugo Young Speech (Nov. 10th) Inequality is mentioned TWELVE times. This jejune placeman is going to be another disaster. Again, it's got to hurt more before it can get better.

20 December 2009 at 18:03  
Anonymous TomTom said...

Also, she's previously been warned about this very issue, now she’s ignored the warning

What warning ? What cup of tea ?

Actually any parent who thinks supply teachers come from the NHS needs treatment herself. Complaining to the NHs about a Supply Teacher !!!

Moreover why is this child receiving tuition at home paid for by taxpayers ? Surely the parent is under legal obligation to have the child educated and should pay for home tuition just as pensioners pay for meals-on-wheels ?

There is no good reason for a child to receive individual tuition in Maths at taxpayers' expense and then fail to get out of bed.

20 December 2009 at 19:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom Tom said - "What warning?"

The warning Jones received 3 years previously:-

"Ms Robinson also asked Mrs Jones why she had ignored her advice not to pray or speak about her faith at work, a reference to an occasion three years ago when the teacher had prayed for a girl with period pains".

"The girl appears to have complained and Ms Robinson had told Mrs Jones to be more professional, but Mrs Jones said there had been no written warning".

So, it appears 'likeable' Mrs Jones has previous in relation to intimidating children and using her role as a teacher to evangelise. She deserved the sack.

20 December 2009 at 20:35  
Blogger Paul Wright said...

Jones's actions as described by the Mail seemed to me to be deserving of disciplinary action from her employers. The same would apply if a Muslim or a Pagan had done the same, or if an atheist had told the kid there's no God and no miracles. Teachers aren't paid to give unprompted religious "testimonies" (and I'm sure Cranmer and his readers know as well as I do what "testimony" means here), and shouldn't assume that they're welcome (especially in someone's home). If the parent or the kid had asked about Jones's religious beliefs, it'd be different, but there's no evidence that this happened. It's beholden on the school to ensure they comply with employment law, and firing for the first offence seems too harsh, but if someone's on an at-will contract and has been warned once before, I can perfectly understand the decision to fire them.

I don't think this is a free speech issue: Jones is free to pray on her own time (which will surely be as effective as praying with the family), and indeed, she was free to do what the Mail said she did and accept the consequences predicted by the Sermon on the Mount.

20 December 2009 at 21:13  
Anonymous Simon Icke said...

This news is yet more evidence of 'Christianphobia' in the UK; which I have tried to bring the publics attention in recent weeks. .... I think it is time for Christians to wake up and smell the 'Coffee' ...

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for the good people to do nothing....edmund burke

In view of this news of yet another Christian bullied by the PC brigade I would like to put the following question:


In many parts of the UK there is a new aggressive atheism that for the last decade has been sweeping all areas of UK society. It is being led by a number of aggressive academic atheists; who are encouraging the persecution, ridicule and mocking of Christianity and Christians. Their ultimate aim is to eradicate Christianity from all parts of society, including Education, Government departments mainstream media; TV, Radio etc. These atheists have created an environment where it is a fun sport to bully Christians and intimidate them if they dare to declare their Christian faith publicly especially in the work place or in public life. This attitude towards persecuting Christians is now known as Christianphobia.

The 'new atheist' try and perpetuate the myth that you cannot be a scientist or an academic and at the same time be a Christian. They conclude that all people who are Christians must have inferior intelligence and some kind of weakness or flaw in their makeup, they truly believe the new atheists have superior intelligence; some claim they are the 'enlightened ones'. They have created a new fundamentalist atheism, which is just as intolerant as any type of the worst examples of religious or political fanaticism. Their aim is to undermine or destroy Christianity where ever they find it in public life and turn others against the Christian faith; this behaviour/ attitude has become known as Christianphobia.

'Christianphobia is alive and kicking in the UK today not Islamophobia, not Hinduphobia, not Jewishphobia, not Buddaphobia, not newagephobia, not harrykrishna, not scientologyphobia, not mormonphobia, not jehovaswitnessphobia, not newfalsegreenreligion/climatechangephobia or any other religious phobia; in the UK today: NO! JUST CHRISTIANPHOBIA.

Funny isn't it why only Christianity and Christians are the targets of the aggressive 'new atheists', humanists and left wing secular liberals.

Is it because Christians are easy targets and don't fight back?

Maybe it is because Jesus is the way the truth and the life; and deep down the persecutors know it and they despise the light of Jesus so they do their best to ridicule and persecute the Christians and try and put out the light that shines on their live's; the darker this nation becomes the brighter the light of Jesus shines.

'Some people say there is no God yet spend a life time hating and blaming Him for everything that is wrong; don't you find that really odd?'

20 December 2009 at 22:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'The New Crybaby Theists'
great article by Michael Brull

Facing a new attack with an international audience playing close attention, religions have as little rational argument in their favour as ever. There was a time when they could deal with dissent through more draconian measures: the kind that can still be practiced in, say, Saudi Arabia. Having lost the power of the gun in the West, apologists of religion have a new weapon: being offended.

Rather than confronting (say) Dawkins' arguments with counter-arguments, people like Craven, and many others like him, instead cry out: why are you picking on us? All we want is for you to respect our beliefs. And so, the crybaby theists hide behind the demand for respect, which sounds reasonable enough. The more shameless – and their ranks are represented in many religions, such as Muslims, Christians and Jews – complain that when someone criticises their religious faith, the people who belong to that religion are being subjected to abuse.

The bottom line is that such special pleading is a way for theists to avoid answering their critics. The cry that religious beliefs are not being treated respectfully often demonstrates incredible arrogance and hypocrisy.

Firstly, in a liberal democracy, people should adjust to the prospect of other people finding their views stupid, immoral, pernicious, or any other terrible thing. For example, consider the case of a racist. They may view others with contempt, and members of the targeted minorities might respond with contempt for the views of the racist. Should we demand that victims of racism respect the beliefs of racists? Of course not: we grant the truism that some beliefs are stupid, immoral, pernicious and other terrible things. A liberal democracy cannot function without the possibility of discussing which beliefs are good and which ones are not. Crybaby theists wish to be shielded from the normal rough and tumble of arguments about beliefs. There are people who honestly think religious belief irrational, and find aspects of organised religion troubling. If anything is outrageous, it is the arrogance of religious extremists, here and elsewhere, holding that such views should not be allowed open discussion.

Secondly, hearing of the need for religious beliefs to be treated respectfully by evangelical Christians is galling. This is a religious faith full of those who believe in the importance of preaching to unbelievers and converting them. Obviously, if they respected the views of atheists and believers in different religions, they would not indulge such practices. Yet many Christians, with scriptural support, think non-believers and the un-baptised are going to hell. How respectful is this? Unlike crybaby theists, I'm happy for missionaries to try to persuade adults of the merits of their irrational case. Indeed, no atheists that I know of actually suggest that theists should “respect” their beliefs and stop arguing for theism. Atheists have simply taken up arguing their point of view: against religious belief. Some people whose income depends on irrational belief in the afterlife and dated holy texts have naturally reacted with anger at such developments.

But to return to Craven: why pick on Catholics? No one picks on all Catholics, but certainly there's a few Catholics I can think of who deserve criticism. For example, there's Pope Benedict XVI, whose primitive views on contraception, abortion and homosexuality cause great harm in the world. Fortunately, there are many Catholics who don't take the popes very seriously. Religious motivations by no means monopolise those causing terrible evils in the world. Yet if the spread of the so called new atheism can encourage a new scepticism towards irrational dogmas and undeserving authorities, a very real public service will have been performed.

21 December 2009 at 00:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from "anonym"
I think that those Christians who can & are comfortable should use the legal system ie Paul used a lawyer, although long trials can distract & drain relationships, time, energy & money. Others choose in the Spirit to turn the other cheek. Every incident is unique. We are each called to follow our Lord as we feel He is leading us, & our Lord sometimes turned the cheek &sometimes spoke or did something. I would welcome sermons in the US & UK on relevant topics if pastors feel led to & have God's peace eg how to be as shrewd as snakes & innocent as doves.
I think we should pray & practically help & support those unjustly treated(Christian or not) where & as we feel led, which differs between different Christians, or at different times in life. This seems like an attack on normal, healthy, free speech. Are Jewish observers allowed to mention Kosher, Muslim followers to mention Friday prayers or halal, climate change believers or non-believers weather, "atheists not praying" or what they do/don't believe, anyone (whatever their views on anything) anything except maths during interactions around a maths lesson. No "hello's" nor small talk lest it offend, no mentioning of sugar in case a hearer is diabetic, no mention of aspirin in case they're allergic or don't like or agree with using it(maybe they like tylenol, massage, homeopathy or jogging). It's impossible never to offend others, hence concepts like sorry, forgiveness, regret, shame exist across many cultures & languages? Do the perfectionists really wish to censor grace, forebearance & forgivness? Will it be "You're fired", "off with your head" or "go directly to jail" when someone has accidentally offended someone, let alone if people lose their temper? Who has not sinned with their tongue at some time? Is the bar for punishable criminal and civil offences becoming so low as to punish all disproportionally?

21 December 2009 at 01:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from anonym
Is it also true the government intends to make charities including churches pay a fee for public music performance, abusing copyright which is already being used to restict online and other free speech, even is sometimes subtely? That would attack freedom of association,even if unintentially. Since when should we need government permission to meet to sing? Some know that spontaneous singing, meeting or talking is a healthy community activity. It also builds community when people are suffering(as do hugs & other non-sexual physical contact - so "paedophile-protectors" discouraging normal human interaction like non-sexual touch between community memebers (kids or adults) harms community. Charging fees for communal vocal speech ie singing includes monitering associations and indiviuals, invasion of privacy and rights to punish including taking assets so it attacks freedom of association & speech as well as healthy communal spontaneous behavior. Shame on those cooperating with this & other crack-downs on hard-won essenital freedoms for life.I hope they fear God or think of history, & ie quit helping passing or enabling the use & abuse of laws to mistreat others or unjustly take away freedoms.
I hope & pray that we will find ethical ways to stop this attack on freedom of expression & the like. The Bible speaks more often to us about what to do once dictatorships have arrived than when moving to one, though it does. In Bible & history nosey people were placed or asked in churches(innocents too) to ask about innocents or those labelled "bad", and thus endanger them., our Lord was thus labelled & betrayed. We need to be shrewd as snakes & as innocent as doves, beware when some are more interested in what people are up to than caring about them (just like Herod was, though some who are evil are charming), also don't beleive everything said about people,listen to that gut "check in the Spirit" or conscience even if against peer pressure& don't despair if we make mistakes; we all need more discernment & our Lord's blessing so we honour Him & love His & all people, even those who treat us as enemies. I thank God that He there are always some inside & outside the church who care about people & do the right thing, even under great pressure. I hope that reducing of freedoms and increased red-tape will not firther stifle life in the UK and US, for Christians or others, or anywhere else.

21 December 2009 at 02:03  
Anonymous Voyager said...

So, it appears 'likeable' Mrs Jones has previous in relation to intimidating children and using her role as a teacher to evangelise. She deserved the sack.

Being anonymous it is hard to know which of many you might be. However under EU and British Labour Law there are procedures to be followed and apparently they have not.

This opens up the issue of Agency Workers Directives as Supply Teachers are not contractually employed with LEA terms and conditions but are denied benefits available to contracted staff.

As this area is one where the British Government has been tardy in implementing the Directive I do hope the case can have full High Court exposure so the peculiar employment policies on Supply Teachers can be exposed together with the insurance problems caused by casualisation of teaching staff

21 December 2009 at 07:01  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Temporary (Agency) Workers Directive (TAWD) is the result of a six-year campaign and hard negotiation by the TUC and allows the UK to implement the agreement reached in May 2008 between the CBI and the TUC, which means that an agency worker will be entitled to equal treatment after 12 weeks in a given job.

This means that agency supply teachers will be entitled to at least the same basic employment conditions that would apply had s/he been recruited directly to the same job.

Basic working and employment conditions are:

* working time, including overtime, breaks, rest periods and night work;
* holidays, including public holidays;
* pay, including equal pay rights, pensions and sick pay, and bonuses, redundancy pay, maternity pay and paid facilities time for trade union duties.
* European Union member states now have three years to implement the directive, but the UK Government hopes to introduce the necessary legislation in the current Parliamentary session.

There will be a detailed consultation in 2009 and, in the light of responses, a date for regulations to enter into force.

21 December 2009 at 07:08  
Blogger Alfred T. Mahan said...

Forgive my confusion over this case, but, as a historian (worse still, a historian from the United States), it is my understanding that there still remains a church as by law established, as one of my professors taught it; if this is the case, then how is mentioning the name of the Lord an offense in a nation where there's a state Christian church?

Or did I miss something important somewhere in the past decade or so?

*raised eyebrow*

21 December 2009 at 07:40  
Anonymous not a mouse said...

Euroland (the euSSR) and its minions in Westminster now claim that what they say is law supercedes British Law, Mr. Mahan.

According to a couple of nasty pieces of parchment somewhere in Rome, successive British governments have given away the country - though they've failed to explain this to the People, or to give us any choice in the matter.

As of Dec. 1, we are no longer free - according to them. It hasn't hit the headlines though - the news media are controlled by the same bunch of commies. They're still hoping some of us haven't noticed, I think....

21 December 2009 at 08:07  
Blogger Preacher said...

Well it seems the authorities have been busy nailing their colours to their respective masts, & I shall do the same. Why? because I will not be cowed by the fear of man, I will openly own Jesus Christ as Lord & saviour as long as I live, if I love my fellow man I will use any opportunity to lead him or her to salvation. If they refuse I will sadly leave them to follow the beliefs or dictates of their own consciences & hope that they at some point will recieve the salvation that cost God so much. If I can help them in any practical way, I will, without any axe to grind. But I will never let threats or fear silence me, whatever quarter it comes from.
Please all you anons choose a name, it makes it so much easier to respond to & many of you have good points, but trying to reply to anon@ can often lead to confusion when there are so many.

21 December 2009 at 10:38  
Anonymous Andy Hindmarch said...

I agree completely with Paul Wright and anonymous (New Crybaby Theists).

This had absolutely nothing to do with her role as a teacher in this respect.

I do have some sympathy with her in that the state is very blurred when it come to religion. The provision of state sponsored faith schools, tax benefits, seats in parliament gives religious groups much privilege in our society.
The sooner we do away with faith schools where children are labelled by the state as being of one religion or another, and entry requirements which demand 'bums on seats', the better.

I respect completely the right of others to practise their religion (as long as it doesn't harm others) but there needs to be a much clearer separation of religion from state. The sooner we have this the better it will be for everyone.

21 December 2009 at 13:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

there needs to be a much clearer separation of religion from state.

Really ? You make it sound as if you wish to override opinions of those who have the opposite view.

Your certainty of your position might be misplaced, and propounding it too vigorously might lead some people to question the legitimacy of what you call "the state" which is nothing more than a coercive organ in the hands of unrepresentative thugs and larcenists.

The "State" as you so fondly call it in your transport of Hegelian delight is without legitimacy and increasingly vulnerable to being overthrown and replaced....perhaps by a theocracy ?

21 December 2009 at 13:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent article by Keith Porteous Wood:-

Executive Director of the National Secular Society, Keith Porteous Wood, said: “It is no more appropriate for a teacher to pray for pupils captive in their own home than it would be to suggest the solution was to vote for particular party at the next election. It is simply unprofessional. It is perfectly reasonable of employers to proscribe such behaviour and for them to have their instructions enforced.

“This case has remarkable similarities to the North Somerset nurse Caroline Petrie evangelizing in a patient’s home - and indeed they know each other. What is rarely said is that both Jones and Petrie had already been asked by their employers not to do this but did so again regardless, at least once and probably more often.

“This is not a question of religious freedom. If teachers want to pray for those in their care there is nothing to stop them doing it in their own homes or places of worship. Nor are Christians being frozen out, indeed they are trying to freeze out others. I asked one of the Christian lawyers supporting Nurse Petrie if it would have been acceptable if the nurse had suggested Muslim or Jewish prayers. The answer was an unequivocal “no” – on the basis that “this is a Christian country”.

“In both cases there had been a complaint, in Petrie’s case by another Christian sensibly realising the inappropriateness of what happened in her own home and the embarrassment this could have caused.

“Nor is it anything to do with the much-maligned equality agenda; that is just propaganda. Many Christian lawyers object to equality legislation because it requires everyone to follow the law equally, rather than give Christians privileges or exemptions denied to others - such as allowing them to discriminate against homosexuals. Indeed, the Christian Legal Centre may be preparing the ground for making a special case for Olive Jones, according to one report: “although Mrs Jones was not on a contract and had occasionally taken time out from her teaching duties during term time, the Centre would argue that she had effectively worked continuously for the unit for nearly five years and should have had some protection under employment law.’”

Now, it would be interesting to read replies from Christians arguing against the specific issues raised by Keith Porteous - but no doubt any replies will, as usual, avoid the facts/issues and resort to unsubstantiated claims of 'we're being discriminated against'

21 December 2009 at 16:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preacher @10:38 from "anonym"
I have to blog anonymously (though there usually no such thing), and not because I am ashamed of the gospel (I am not - which is partly why I am currently cannot blog with a name). Please pray for me.

If His grace objects to my adding "anonym" it is His blog and His Grace may say so, and I will respect that.

Noone knows how they will react to persecution until it happens, remember Peter! Which is why it is so important for the Body to be built up and loving Him, one another and others. I hope and pray you will never fail - nor any other Christian nor those who do not know our Lord but stand up for what is right, at great cost sometimes, even though they lack the comfort of the Holy Spirit, our Lord's promises including that there will no tears or suffering in heaven or know our Lord's protection, blessings and mercies through prayer. God bless you.

21 December 2009 at 18:35  
Blogger Alfred of Wessex said...

Would the Local Education Authority have dared to act in this way if a Muslim teacher had done the same?

I very much doubt it.

21 December 2009 at 19:32  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

While I do not know all the facts about this case - has Mrs Jones been sacked, or is she merely under investigation? - two things strike me.

1. 'Bullying' is now being detected everywhere, and all sorts of activities now seem to constitute bullying. It has become a handy catch-all accusation to be thrown at someone whose behaviour one doesn't like.

2. The response of Mrs. Jones' employer does appear to be somewhat disproportional. Teachers talk to pupils about all sorts of things during class time. It isn't a disciplinary offence.

21 December 2009 at 19:40  
Anonymous len said...

There is a new religion and a new form of speech that is used to enforce this new religion.
Words have been introduced to make people conform to this 'new religion' words like homophobic, hate crime, being judgmental, politically correct etc.
All this is a form of mind control, a form of brainwashing.
There are no absolutes in this new religion, no right and no wrong.
There is also no God as man has replaced him.

This new religion is to administered by a small elite controlling the masses.

The bait = peace, freedom,human rights,equality, freedom of the individual.

The hook= Total control.

Come soon Lord Jesus.

21 December 2009 at 19:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alfred of Wessex said;-
"Would the Local Education Authority have dared to act in this way if a Muslim teacher had done the same?
I very much doubt it."

Of course they would - as I suspected you're avoiding answering the points raised by Keith Porteous Wood. Put up or shut up!!...

21 December 2009 at 20:10  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

I noticed that the BBC teletext first said that the teacher was sacked, in their headline; then silently revised the article, changing "sacked" in headline and article to "suspended" without comment.

Because, of course, instant sacking is probably illegal itself, even if a Christian is the victim. Good to see that the BBC has already taken sides.

21 December 2009 at 20:27  
Blogger Karen said...

to the Preacher

Now there is a soldier of the Cross, and thank you for your strength of Faith and Love.

22 December 2009 at 07:35  
Blogger Claire Collins said...

I totally support Olive Jones. How can someone be sacked without a fair trial? If she has commited something which is aparently so terrible surely she should go to court. Now that should make some jolly interesting reading.
When my mum was dying of cancer numerous many nurses on the ward were believing Christians. They would come by and say a little prayer for her, just touch her hand or make a gesture of deep love to her every day. It made our days bearable. Thank you to all Christians who risk sacking for their faith. Keep it up!!

22 December 2009 at 21:28  
Anonymous Adrian Peirson said...

Anyone willing to bet against me that it is going to get worse.
It is a central tenet of the Communist manifesto that Christianity should be undermined and destroyed.
Also Capitalism.

Also the family, look at working hours now, and taxes, both parents forced to work.
Their children spend much of the day in nursery, Pre school breakfast clubs, School, After school clubs.

Look at declining fertility, and sperm counts, look at estrogens and a whole host of other drugs found in the water supply.

And just look at those schools with their CCTV and Iron railings, where parents are not allowed entry unless vetted and acompanied.

Where is this leading, let me make a pediction.

The next phase is where children are removed at birth from their parents to be brought up in state nurseries, where they will be forcibly sterilised via Vaccinations, drugs etc, this is already confirmed as going on with the Gardasil and other Vaccinations, the Phillipines has just complained to the UN that the WHO forcibly sterilised 3 million of its women.

Sterilisation is one of the common side effects of Vaccines in the third world.

While this is going on, the state will begin giving birth to its own children.

Unless these deranged Psychopaths are styopped, Your children or Grandchildren will be the last to have children of their own.

Have a Merry Christmass.

25 December 2009 at 19:42  
Blogger Paul Wright said...

Adrian Peirson: the Doctor Who Christmas special wasn't real.

Everyone else: the parents who complained have given their side of the story: see

25 December 2009 at 21:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New Labour and other political forces of evil are determined to
marginalise the presence of the Christian Church in this country. It is a direct challenge to our freedom to express a faith of our own choosing. These
attempts will not stop until we have an US-style "Bill of Rights" to the
effect that the government shall pass no laws governing or restricting the
right of everyone the freedom to exercise their faith. New Labour and those
who vote with them are repeating the same abuses over again that drove the
Puritans to leave for another land but instead of doing it to preserve the
monopoly power of a corrupt Church at the time; they are now preserving the
right of a government to dictate against conscience of any kind. We are
almost in a fascist state where the rights of certain groups can trump those
of another depending on the fashion of the day.
Selective multi-culturalism and selective political correctness anything so long as
it is not Christian is now the reality in the UK today..

9 January 2010 at 12:19  
Blogger Karen said...

Point no. 1. I honestly believe that any Christian that believes he or she is called into politics should do it. It is high time that we as Christians, had a political voice. Point no. 2. How does the army of God march? on their knees, in other words, let us as the people of God, start to pray more than ever before for the salvation of those whose are lost, for those so keen to try to destroy us, and for our rights as people and as a religion, to count for something. Church of the Living God, you will not be able to remain silent for much longer. You have marched around Jericho long enough in silence, now is the time to shout the shout of victory!

10 January 2010 at 16:06  
Anonymous jane said...

What a terrible thing it is - no longer to be free in your own country.

5 February 2010 at 06:54  

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