July 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — An elementary school that boasts on its website about the involvement of its students’ parents banned them from its grounds for a day last month after they objected to a planned Pride parade for children as young as five years old.
Steve Reed, an openly gay Labour & Co-operative member of Parliament in the United Kingdom, praised the school, Heavers Farm Primary School, and its students for the LGBTQ event.
In a tweet, Reed wrote that he was “very proud of them for standing up for equality and diversity.”
A photograph on Twitter shows hundreds of young children at the event on June 29, many of them wearing rainbow flag-themed hats. An LGBTQ flag is proudly displayed.
On Twitter, school officials gushed over the event’s success, calling it a “wonderful end to #PrideMonth this morning with some fantastic singing and lots of things to be proud of!”
But not everyone agreed that children so young should be taught about homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism.
Ruth Anderson, the mother of one of the students, reportedly told British media that she and several other parents were outraged by the planned Pride parade.
“We were given this whole story that it was all about having pride in yourself, but that's ridiculous,” Anderson told the Croydon Advertiser.
“There were rainbow flags around the school, and the kids were even told to wear bright colours,” she said. “That's not having pride in yourself, that is blatant support for LGBT. I am not homophobic, but my faith teaches me a certain set of beliefs, and I do not want my child's school making her choices for her.”
When a group of parents planned to protest outside the school, Heavers Farm pulled its invitation to parents. Those parents reportedly reacted by keeping their children home on the day of the planned Pride parade.
According to media reports, that led to the parade being cancelled and a smaller Pride event being held inside the school’s classrooms.
In the wake of the incident, Anderson has called for the school’s head teacher, Susan Papas, to be fired.
“Some parents have taken exception to this,” Papas reportedly told the Evening Standard. “They feel the school is shoving LGBT issues down the kids' throats. This takes us back decades.”
“We thought we would celebrate Pride month so those children from LGBT families would feel included and to show the kids that children come from different families,” she is quoted as saying. “But some parents aren't happy with the term LGBT and don't want their children knowing about these terms or what they mean.”