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A London teacher fired over anti-gay 'DNA of Satan' comments

A judge said Robert Headley "must bear responsibility for the way he has chosen to express himself."

2022-03-21

Words: Alastair James; pictures: YouTube

A teacher in East London has been fired over his homophobic and anti-semitic views, which include comments that gay people have the "DNA of Satan". 

Robert Headley, a Christian with orthodox views, also said Jews and Catholics were "evil" on his YouTube account which has nearly 300,000 subscribers. 

An employment tribunal has also been told how Headley led discussions relating to the flat earth conspiracy theory at Rokeby School for Boys in Canning Town. Headley taught Design and Technology at the school from 2008 to 2019. 

"He must bear responsibility for the way he has chosen to express himself"

According to reports in MyLondon, some of Mr. Headley's other remarks included: "Jews, Scribes, and Pharisees are of the devil." He also said the moon landings had been faked but backtracked to say he was teaching his students about perspective. 

One of the school's deputy headteachers, Jo Doyle, said in a report she was concerned about the impact such views would have on children. She said: "There are some very vulnerable boys and young staff who may be exploring their sexuality and questioning it and it is important that they are not judged or made to feel that they are evil."

Employment judge John Crosfill said: "The school was entitled to conclude that its own interests in promoting pluralism and the welfare of its students were a sufficient reason for restricting the claimant's rights to manifest his religious beliefs and/or express his opinions in public in the manner that he did. He must bear responsibility for the way he has chosen to express himself."

The videos uploaded to his YouTube were filmed in school with the school badge insight. Some videos are said to have been taken down in 2018 after the school's deputy headteacher, Emma Hobbs. 

A year later, the school's headteacher, Charlotte Robinson, heard of the discussions around flat earth theories and that Headley had wanted them kept confidential. 

Headley was sacked for gross misconduct in 2019 after a colleague saw his video titled 'DNA of the Wicked'.

A complaint from Headley that he had been fired over a complaint he made about the school’s marking policy was dismissed when he tried to sue the school. 

Attitude's new-look March/April issue is out now.