THE headteacher of a primary school in Birmingham that is at the centre of a row over LGBT lessons said on Tuesday (15) that there has been a rise in homophobic attacks following same-sex teaching protests.
Sara Hewitt-Clarkson, Anderton Park primary headteacher, said there has been a 333 per cent rise in homophobic attacks in parts of Birmingham. Citing figures released by the West Midlands police, Hewitt-Clarkson said there were six incidents in March 2018. In the following March, the figure rose to 26.
“There was a huge rise in homophobic attacks … some of the behaviour outside the school has legitimised those attacks,” she said.
She made these remarks during a hearing to rule whether an exclusion zone around Anderton Park primary banning protests chould be made permanent.
Tom Brown, man who filmed some of the protests, said demonstrators compared LGBT people to “dogs and paedophiles”.
“If someone compares me to a dog for my sexuality then I am fairly sure that violates the Equality Act,” said Brown, who reported the issue to the police.
During the hearing, the headteacher also said that leading protester Shakeel Afsar confronted her in her office in a “volatile and aggressive” manner demanding she stop LGBT equality lessons.
Sge said: “He slammed his hands down on my desk. The first thing he said was he ‘demanded’ what I should do. He was volatile and aggressive, with little eye contact – he would shout and then apologise quietly then shout.
“I had never been in a meeting like it in 22 years of teaching.”
She added: “Yes, we say it is okay to be gay, because it is.
“There is a tension of course when some people believe homosexuality is sinful.
“But it is not sinful in British law.”
The hearing is due to last for a week.