Anna had embarked on a relationship with a man using the pseudonym ‘Antony Ray’ on dating app Tinder, but later found out he was a married father who had initially used a photograph of a Bollywood actor to draw her in.
The 44-year-old later created her own fake profile to expose his lies before starting her petition to campaign for a change in the law.
After the Gazette and its parent company the KM Group’s website Kent Online reported the story, it was picked up both nationally and internationally – receiving coverage from as far afield as the USA and India.
But Ethelbert Road Primary School in Faversham, where Anna works as a teaching assistant, has now fired her over claims she brought the institution into disrepute – even though the school was not mentioned in coverage of Anna’s campaign.
KM Group editorial director Ian Carter told HTFP: “We were very surprised to hear she had been sacked, and it would be very concerning if talking to the press about something completely unconnected to her work was the reason.
“We’ll be keeping a close eye on developments.”
Anna told Kent Online: “The irony is that the school has been running an anti-bullying campaign in which the message has been that children must speak up if they want things to change. If you stay silent, then nothing happens.
“People were horrified to learn that I had lost my job just for speaking up about my campaign. The school was saying it had to do it because of the sexual content of the article and the mention of Tinder.
“This really is null and void. There was nothing overtly sexual in the article. I had to talk about what had happened to me as a vehicle to get the campaign to change the law moving. That is what all this is about.”
A Kent County Council spokesman said the authority was unable to comment as the matter is an employment issue.