School Receptionist Faces Sack After Five-Year-Old Daughter Is Told Off For Talking About God
Probe: Jennie Cain is being investigated forover an e-mail sent to Christian friends
A school receptionist faces the sack after seeking the support of Christian friends when her five-year-old daughter was scolded for talking about God in class.
Jennie Cain’s daughter Jasmine was ticked off by a teacher for discussing Heaven and Hell with a fellow pupil and came home in tears.
After comforting her distraught daughter, Mrs Cain, who works at the school, sent a private email to ten close Christian friends asking them to offer prayers for the families and the school.
But a copy fell into the hands of Gary Read, headmaster at Landscore Primary School, in Crediton, Devon.
Now Mrs Cain, 38, is being investigated for professional misconduct for allegedly making claims against the school and staff members. She may be disciplined and even faces dismissal.
The case has caused fresh outrage in the Christian community, which fears its members are becoming the most discriminated against people in society.
But Mr Read insisted it was right to admonish Jasmine because she had scared a fellow pupil by telling her she would ‘go to Hell’ if she did not believe in God.
The row broke out on January 22 when divorced Mrs Cain went to pick up Jasmine and her brother Ben, eight, from the state primary school, which has 271 pupils. She said: ‘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.’
The next day Mr Read invited her into his office after he received a complaint from the mother of the child who had been upset by Jasmine’s remark.
Jennie Cain has been told she may be disciplined and could face dismissal from Landscore Primary School, Devon. Her daughter Jasmine attends school there
Mrs Cain said: ‘He started talking about my daughter and how he wasn’t happy about her making statements about her faith. At that point I froze. I felt very small and trapped as I was a junior member of staff.’
That weekend Mrs Cain emailed afrom her personal computer at home to trusted friends from her church. She said: ‘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. She said: ‘He had in his hand a copy of my private, personal email and it was highlighted all the way through. He said 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.’
Mrs Cain, who has not been suspended, added: ‘It seems that there is something about the Christian faith that has triggered this very strong, very heavy-handed whack.’ She thinks Mr Read was passed the email by a governor, who is married to one of the churchgoers she sent it to.
Among a groundswell of support for Mrs Cain yesterday was NHS nurse Caroline Petrie, who herself was nearly sacked recently by North Somerset Primary Care Trust for offering to say a prayer for an elderly patient.
In the Commons, MP Stewart Jackson called for a debate on ‘systematic and institutional discrimination towards Christians’.
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