Primary school receptionist "facing sack"

Introduction: Primary school receptionist "facing sack" after daughter talks about Jesus to classmate.

http://www.evangelicals.org/news.asp?id=973

Primary school receptionist 'facing sack' after daughter talks about Jesus to classmate
The Daily Telegraph reports today that a primary school receptionist, Jennie Cain, whose five-year-old daughter was told off for talking about Jesus in class is being investigated for professional misconduct after seeking support from her church.

Her daughter Jasmine had been overheard by a teacher discussing heaven and God with a friend and had been taken to one side and told off.

Mrs Cain contacted 10 close friends from her church by email but the message came to the attention of Gary Read, the headmaster of Landscore Primary School, Crediton, Devon, where she works as a receptionist.

The 38-year-old mother of two is now being investigated for professional misconduct for allegedly making claims against the school and its staff.

Mrs Cain has been told she may be disciplined and was warned she could face dismissal.

Mrs Cain, who has worked part-time at the school for two and a half years, describes herself as a "quiet Christian" who would never force her beliefs on others.

But she said she was angry about the way she had been treated: "I felt embarrassed that a private prayer email was read by the school – it felt like someone had gone through my personal prayer diary.

"I feel my beliefs are so central to who I am, are such a part of my children's life.

"I do feel our beliefs haven't been respected and I don't feel I have been treated fairly. I don't know what I am supposed to have done wrong."

On January 22, Mrs Cain went to pick up her children from Landscore Primary School

"My daughter burst into tears, her face was all red and she was clearly upset.

"She said 'my teacher told me I couldn't talk about Jesus' – I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

"She said she was taken aside in the classroom and told she couldn't say that. I was so shocked, I didn't know what to do."

Mrs Cain said she decided to wait until she wasn't working to discuss the issue with the teacher Sharon Gottelier as a parent rather than an employee.

But she was called into Mr Read's office the next day over another matter before he started discussing Jasmine.

"He started talking about my daughter about how he wasn't happy about her making statements about her faith.

"At that point I froze, I felt very small and I felt trapped as I was a junior member of staff."

That weekend, she emailed a prayer request from her personal computer at home to 10 trusted friends from her church.

"I asked them to please pray for us, please pray for Jasmine, please pray for the school and pray for the church."

A few days later she was called back into Mr Read's office.

"I didn't think at this point I could be more stunned. He had in his hand a copy of my private, personal email and it was highlighted all the way through.

"He said that he was going to investigate me for professional misconduct because I had been making allegations about the school and staff to members of the public."

"He said the investigation could be followed by disciplinary action up to and including dismissal because of this private email."

Mr Read said: "An investigation by the governors of the school is being held into the conduct of a member of staff and at this stage I cannot comment any further."

Her case is being supported by the Christian Institute who said Mrs Cain was the latest example of a Christian being persecuted by society.

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “I thought I had heard it all when I learned a nurse had been suspended for offering to pray for a patient.

“But now a five-year-old girl and her mother have been slammed for nothing more than expressing their Christian faith.

“I am particularly concerned about the way in which Mrs Cain’s private email to her church friends ended up in the hands of the head teacher.

“This is the latest in a series of cases where Christians are being persecuted for their religious beliefs. It is really getting to a point where it has to stop.”

(Sources: The Daily Telegraph, 12/02/09, The Christian Institute, 12/02/09)

Filed: 12 Feb 2009

Office posted the article on Thursday, 12th February 2009 at 12:27pm


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