A primary school in London has toned down its LGBT celebration event after parents expressed their concerns.
Heavers Farm Primary, in Croydon, was planning an LGBT event featuring a parade at the school watched by families.
But many parents objected, with one saying her son – who is under ten years old – is too young to be taught about homosexuality and transsexualism.
Headteacher Susan Papas responded by saying that because the teaching was not officially part of Sex and Relationship Education, “we do not need to seek consent from the parents”.
I want to be able to educate my child on these things
She also claimed the work was a key part of promoting fundamental ‘British values’ and suggested those with concerns were guilty of “spreading hateful messages”.
Local MP Steve Reed attended the stripped-back event – which included an assembly and a more low-key outdoor gathering – tweeting he was “very proud” of those children who attended.
According to a newspaper report, 110 children did not attend school on the day.
An anonymous parent spoke out ahead of the event, explaining that her Year 4 son was “just far too young to be learning about all of this”.
“He came home the other day talking about lesbians and transgender people and I was so shocked.”
She added: “‘I know there will be Muslim families who would find the idea of taking part in such an event a very difficult thing to do”.
Educate my child
Another parent said “dozens” of concerned people wanted a meeting with the school.
“I want to be able to educate my child on these things, it’s not just a matter of religion or our religious beliefs”, they added.
Headteacher Susan Papas said she was “really sad at the backlash”.
Earlier this year, a Mumsnet user who asked fellow parents about withdrawing her seven-year-old son from an LGBT day at school suffered a barrage of abuse.
“Yasminluv” wrote on the internet forum asking how she could talk to her son’s teacher about the issue, before adding: “I would prefer to explain it to him myself”.
But over the course of nearly 300 replies, she was repeatedly labelled “homophobic” and sworn at. Just a handful of people stood up for her position.