Christian and Muslim parents in London who kept their primary school children away from controversial lessons promoting homosexuality could now face legal action by the local council.
The lessons – part of LGBT History Month – used books such as King and King, promoted by homosexual rights activists to help teach children about homosexual relationships.
Around 30 children were withdrawn from the week of lessons at George Tomlinson Primary School in Waltham Forest, East London.
A Waltham Forest Council spokesman confirmed that the withdrawals are being treated as “unauthorised absences” and that “action has been taken”.
Although the Council refused to say how they plan to punish parents, the Council website says that parents of truant children can be asked to sign a contract, fined on the spot or taken to court.
“We as parents did not receive any guidance that this was going to happen,” said 41 year old accountant Pervez Latif. “There was just a newsletter mentioning the week and that certain themes would be taught.
“I didn’t want my children to be learning about this. I wrote a letter to the chairman of the governors explaining that I would be taking my children out of school and he wrote back saying that there was no other option.
“If I am faced with court action, then I will just explain that these are my views. It was also very difficult explaining to my nine and ten-year-old boys why they were being removed from school.
“I found it difficult to explain topics such as homosexual relationships at such a young age.”
Another parent, Sarah Saeed, said: “It is not an appropriate age for the children to be learning such matters. We have our own way of explaining things to them and they should not be subjected to this.
“I was aware they were going to be learning about homosexual relationships through stories.
“If the council takes action against me I will tell them that I told the school beforehand I would be taking my child away if they did not change their policy.
“She has a 100 per cent attendance record otherwise. This is the only time and this is the only choice I had.”
The Council spokesman said: “As part of the borough’s policy of promoting tolerance in our schools, children are taught that everyone in our society is of equal value.
“At George Tomlinson, parents were invited to meet with teachers and governors several weeks ago to discuss what work wouldbe taking place throughout the national LGBT History Month and how this work would be delivered.
“Regrettably, some parents chose to remove their children from school.
“The council does not condone any unauthorised absence from school and action has been taken.”
Family values campaigners have applauded the stance of the parents. Norman Wells, director of the Family Education Trust, said: “It is a fundamental principle of education law that children must be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents.
“It is outrageous for a school or local authority to think it can ride roughshod over parents and impose lessons upon children that arouse such widespread concerns.
“The only action that needs to be taken is to offer an apology to the parents concerned.”