A school chaplain was reported to the government’s anti-terrorism unit because he delivered a sermon telling children they were allowed to disagree with the LGBT agenda.
Revd Dr Bernard Randall, 48, was also sacked from his job and reported to the local authority as a potential danger to children.
He is taking Nottinghamshire’s Trent College to court for discrimination, harassment, victimisation, and unfair dismissal. His case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
His sermon, which was delivered in the school’s chapel in June 2019, was on the subject of ‘Competing ideologies’.
At the outset, Dr. Randall explained he had chosen the subject after being asked questions by a student concerned about being forced to accept an ideology conflicting with the faith-based ethos of the school.
In his sermon, which presented the Christian viewpoint on identity questions, he encouraged debate and stressed that no protected characteristic is more protected than another.
But he also explained that, for Christians, where there is disagreement, it is vital to love their neighbour, leaving no room for personal attack or abusive language towards anyone.
The following week, he was summoned into a meeting with the Deputy Head and the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead.
He claimed he was told his beliefs were not relevant and did not matter, and that the sermon had hurt some people’s feelings and undermined the school’s LGBT agenda.
During the meeting, Dr. Randall was asked what the sources of church teachings were.
He pointed to the Church of England’s public liturgy, especially the Book of Common Prayer, and Canon law.
However, Dr. Randall was immediately suspended pending an investigation.
After this meeting, the school’s safeguarding officer began the process of reporting Dr. Randall, without his knowledge, to the government’s counter-terrorism watchdog, Prevent, as a potentially violent religious extremist.
The safeguarding officer also reported him to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) as a danger to children, which is the same point of contact for reporting concerns over paedophilia.
Dr. Randall said: ‘I was terrified. I did not sleep. What was I supposed to tell my family?
‘Being reported as a potential terrorist, extremist, and a danger to children are arguably the worst crimes you could be accused of.’
On 1 July 2019, a Derbyshire police officer, Richard Barker, responded to the report to Prevent saying that the sermon posed no terrorism risk.
His employment tribunal hearing is expected to be heard at the East Midlands Employment Tribunal.