School revolt as Muslim parents object to LGBT equality classes for their children and petition for the subject to be dropped from the curriculum
- Around 400 parents, predominantly Muslim, signed the petition of objection
- The No Outsiders In Our School programme promotes LGBT equality
- Andrew Moffat, assistant head teacher of Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, said he had been threatened in leaflet handed out by campaigners
A school has defended teaching pupils about homosexuality after religious parents signed a petition for the subject to be dropped.
Up to 400 predominantly Muslim parents signed up, with some even taking their children out of the primary school.
They are protesting against the No Outsiders In Our School programme, which is taught as part of sex and relationship lessons to promote LGBT equality and challenge homophobia at school.
Andrew Moffat, assistant head teacher of Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, said he had been threatened in a leaflet handed out by campaigners.
Mr Moffat, who is gay, said he faced angry protests by parents who gathered at the school gates.
Parent Fatima Shah, pictured, pulled her ten-year-old daughter out of the school, saying it was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘totally wrong’
A similar dispute with Muslim and Christian parents in December 2013 forced him to resign from another primary school in Birmingham.
The programme involves five lessons a year for children aged from four to 11, in which they read books about same-sex marriages.
Parent Fatima Shah pulled her ten-year-old daughter out of the school, saying it was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘totally wrong’.
Her daughter has now returned to the school, which is rated as outstanding by Ofsted, but she said she would continue to fight against the programme. She told The Guardian: ‘Children are being told it’s OK to be gay, yet 98 per cent of children at this school are Muslim.
‘It’s a Muslim community. He said all parents are on board with it, but the reality is no parents are on board with it.’
Miss Shah added that the local community’s concerns were not being taken on board, adding: ‘We have nothing against Mr Moffat – we are as British as they come.
‘We respect the British values… but the problem is, he is not respecting our ethos as a community. We don’t send our children to school to learn about LGBT. We send them to school to learn maths, science and English.’
Assistant headteacher Andrew Moffat, who is gay, said he faced angry protests at school gates
Mr Moffat said most parent feedback had been positive and that concerns had only been expressed by a ‘very small minority’.
He added: ‘Some parents struggle with aspects of the Equality Act.
‘But the vast majority of parents understand that… living in the UK, you can be different, but you can get along with other people.’
The programme, which was introduced into the school four years ago, includes the welcoming of people of any race, colour or religion and those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Mr Moffat added: ‘I’m just teaching children from an early age that there are different families.
‘In some schools there are children with two mums.
‘We want all children in Birmingham to know that their family is normal, that their family is accepted and welcomed in schools.’