LGBT classes: Headteacher says protests won’t stop lessons


A programme that promotes LGBT equality and challenges homophobia in primary schools has caused concern. (Photo: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A programme that promotes LGBT equality and challenges homophobia in primary schools has caused concern. (Photo: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters objecting to LGBT lessons in a Birmingham school have vowed to continue protests even after next week’s half-term break.

Hundreds of angry parents gathered outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham on Friday as demonstrations reached eighth week. Students were sent home early amid concerns of safety.

School headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson said she will not change what is being taught in school because of protests.

“There is a real despair that has made this us-and-them feeling. It’s only a small minority of parents and actually a majority are totally fed,” she was quoted as saying.

“It’s not peaceful, it is aggressive, it’s rude. Their tactics are very bullying and intimidating, they’re meant to crush the spirit of people like me, and other women.”

She also condemned Birmingham Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff, who said five-year-olds were too young learn about LGBT issues.

“It’s the fabric of British society is at stake here, because the equality laws hold us together,” she said. “The law is there as a mark in the sand that we all have to promote, and understand and aspire to.”

Labour’s Jess Phillips, the MP for Birmingham Yardley, who lives near the school, said the protests were damaging the reputation of Birmingham’s “peaceful and loving” Muslim community.

“It is hate preaching,” she was quoted as saying. “The protest has to be stopped. I feel like everyone is pussyfooting around a load of bigots. They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the schools. These are people with a religious extremist agenda. They are holding schools under siege.”