BIRMINGHAM, March 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – LGBTQ lessons have been halted at the Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, England, following weeks of controversy and backlash from angry Muslim parents.
The move came after 600 students, about 80% of the school population, were reportedly yanked out of class by furious Muslim parents who objected to having LGBTQ ideology “aggressively” taught to primary school children. The “No Outsiders” curriculum has been suspended until after Easter at the school while consultations with parents continue. Pupils were taken from class, according to Alum Rock Community Forum, because the curriculum was “undermining of parental rights and aggressively promoting homosexuality.” Parents have objected especially to the gender identity portion of the curriculum.
The trustee board of Excelsior Multi Academy Trust, which operates the school, confirmed in a letter that LGBTQ lessons would be halted until the end of April. The letter called on parents to ask children about “No Outsiders” and claimed that “the children are very clear there is no focus on one aspect of equality, rather No Outsiders teaches that everyone is welcome.” It also said, in light of new government legislation to make relationships education compulsory in primary schools from September 2020, it will be consulting with parents to develop its policy and curriculum on the subject.
Until the publication of the government guidelines in February, parents and faith-based schools had been able to opt-out of sex education. Under the new guidelines, parents can opt-out their children until the year before their 16th birthday. Children as young as 5 will learn about same-sex relationships and receive lessons seeking to normalize transgender ideology. In a statement, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said that sex education “must be grounded in a firm understanding and valuing of positive relationships, and respect for others, from primary age.” Amanda Spielman, who heads the office which inspects English schools, said in February that all children should learn that same-sex relationships are normal.
The school, which has approximately 740 pupils, is located in a predominantly Muslim area in the industrial city in the British Midlands. Headteacher Andrew Moffat, an avowed homosexual, claims to have received threatening emails. Moffat piloted the LGBTQ curriculum in 2014 at the school, which was bolstered by the school’s sex and relationship education (SRE) lessons.
Alum Rock Community Forum has claimed that parent’s concerns, protests, and a petition have been “arrogantly ignored” by school authorities. Protesters claim that Moffat is “promoting… personal beliefs and convictions about universal acceptability of homosexuality as being normal and morally correct.”
According to the BBC, the school is now denying that the parents’ protests had anything to do with the suspension of the LGBTQ curriculum. A spokesperson said that the “No Outsiders” program is an integral part of life at the school and that it always planned to stop the classes at half-term. However, the spokesperson said that the school recognizes a need for parents and officials to discuss how to implement teaching about The Equality Act of 2010.
In early February, about 100 people gathered outside the school to protest against the school’s LGBTQ curriculum. Parents complained that the course was inappropriate for children. Chanting “say no to Moffat!”, protesters accused the headteacher of promoting his “personal beliefs.”
Designed by Moffat at the school in 2014, the No Outsiders curriculum ostensibly sought to teach children about different lifeways. According to Moffat, dozens of British schools use the program. In the past, Moffat resigned from a teaching job when Christian parents objected to lessons about so-called homophobia.