Hey, that man made disparaging remarks

Is this funny, or alarming? Or is it both?

A Pentecostal teaching assistant who quit her job at a foundation primary school after she was disciplined for refusing to hear a child read a Harry Potter book is seeking compensation for religious discrimination. She claimed that the book glorified witchcraft. Sariya Allen…claims Durand primary school in Stockwell discriminated against her as a born-again Christian and put her at a disadvantage compared with teaching assistants who were not of her faith.

The child needed a more demanding book, she got a Harry Potter out, ‘but Ms Allen refused to listen to her reading it because God had stated in the Bible that witchcraft was “an abomination”.’

She claims that at a subsequent meeting, the first assistant headteacher, Mark McLaughlin, criticised her as “obstructive” for refusing to hear the child read the book. She also claims he “rubbished” her faith and made disparaging remarks about Christian assemblies in schools. “He was saying it’s just my interpretation of the Bible and my view. He said ‘these are your views and you’re a minority because of these’. He thought I was quite extreme because I’m a born-again Christian. I’m a committed Christian,” she said…She is being represented at the tribunal by Andrew Otchie, a barrister who was a candidate for the Christian Peoples Alliance in the 2005 general election. He said her “novel and interesting” case was one of a very few to allege religious discrimination against a Christian since the regulations banning discrimination on faith grounds came into force in 2003.

Well, it’s alarming if it has any traction. If it’s ‘discrimination’ to refuse to take the Bible as a valid and ungainsayable guide to conduct, then that’s alarming. Let’s hope the south London employment tribunal in Croydon has better sense than that.

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