Birmingham LGBT row: Protesters to remain barred from school gates

THE headteacher of a Birmingham school that has been at the centre of protests over LGBT equality classes said yesterday (10) she was “delighted” after a judge issued a fresh interim injunction against the demonstrations.

Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, headteacher at Anderton Park Primary School, said the 12 weeks of demonstrations had caused distress to staff, parents as well as students.

“It’s an absolutely glorious day for us, for the children, parents and staff of Anderton Park. We are delighted a new order has been granted that keeps the kids and staff safe from the protests,” she was quoted as saying.

“It also strengthens the protection for us as it refers to all aspects of teaching, not just equalities. We are pleased we can go back to school and tell our staff we will be free from protests outside the school for the rest of the year.”

Protesters have been gathering outside Anderton Park Primary School over concerns children were too young to learn about same-sex relationships.

A trial is set to go ahead in July over whether protests can be held outside the school. On Monday, Justice Warby QC quashed an original injunction keeping protesters from the school gates and imposed a similar one until the trial.

He said: “I find it likely the claimant (city council) will establish at trial some of the protesting has gone beyond lawful limits and strayed into harassing, alarming or distressing conduct, through it’s persistence, timing and context.”

The order was made against the protest’s main organisers — Shakeel Afsar and Amir Ahmed, and parent Rosina Afsar – as well as “persons unknown”.

Speaking to the media after the judgment was handed down, the headteacher also called for Labour to remove the whip from MP Roger Godsiff, in whose constituency the school falls, after he appeared on video telling protesters “you’re right”.

Calling his comments “quite discriminatory”, she said: “Well, it has just created a sense of incredulity amongst people who live in his constituency, and further – more far reaching than that.

“How a Labour MP can say such things which appear to be the opposite of what we had to do.

“We have to tackle prejudice, we have to seek to eliminate discrimination and actually his comments seem to have fuelled discrimination and fuelled prejudice.”