Primary school LGBT diversity lessons to stop after parents protest against classes
Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, UK, on Thursday announced its No Outsiders project will no longer be taught in primary school until "a resolution has been reached." The statement comes despite inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) ruled previously the project was appropriate for children.
The decision came shortly after rampant protests from outraged parents, who claimed that they were not age-appropriate. The Birmingham school had previously released a statement, saying the diversity lessons would continue as normal after the Easter holidays. According to the campaign, the project teaches tolerance of diverse groups, including those of different races, genders and sexual orientation, the Daily Mail reported.
The Ofsted published a report by inspectors on Tuesday, concluding the lessons of the project were age-appropriate. The inspectors said that "a very small, but vocal, minority of parents are not clear about the school's vision, policies and practice," and that teachers should work on "further engagement" with mothers and fathers.
VIDEO: This morning parents protested outside Parkfield Community School in Birmingham against what they see as the promotion of homosexuality by the school. pic.twitter.com/xQPY6Wi1yP— 5Pillars (@5Pillarsuk) March 7, 2019
Shortly after the release of the report, talks between parents, educational chiefs and the academy trust which runs Parkfield occurred, leading to the announcement that the lessons would be suspended.
"Nothing is more important than ensuring our children's education continues uninterrupted," the school said. "Both parents and the trust held constructive discussions with the Regional Schools Commissioner, and, as a result of these discussions, we are eager to continue to work together with parents over the coming days and weeks to find a solution that will support the children in our school to continue their education in a harmonious environment."
"Until a resolution has been reached, No Outsiders lessons will not be taught at Parkfield and we hope that children will not be removed from school to take part in protests," the institution added.
We’re currently outside Parkfield Community School. No sign of protest today. The protest last week involved parents standing against their kids being educated on modern issues, including LGBTQ+ relationships. #ParkfieldProtest pic.twitter.com/U2DrFWVUMx— Georgie Deaville (@georgiedeaville) March 13, 2019
Parkfield Parents' Community Group, which organized multiple protests, said the members had a positive meeting with the Department for Education (DfE) to discuss serious concerns with the programme. The community group also said it welcomes the suspension of the diversity classes and has called off its protest this week.
"We made our position clear, that the No Outsiders programme cannot continue to be taught at Parkfield School and that a new programme needs be negotiated, with which parents are happy and meets the legal requirements of the Equality Act 2010," the group in a statement said.
"The school have agreed that 'until a resolution has been reached' No Outsiders lessons will not be taught. In view of this development, we have decided to postpone the protest for Thursday March 14. We will await further developments early next week when we expect detailed proposals to be tabled. We will then review our actions with respect to protests and schoolwide withdrawal of children.
"We have advised and notified parents that the protest scheduled for Thursday 14th March is not taking place and that we are keeping future protests under review in view of developments. We welcome these developments and reiterate that the school needs to work with parents in a spirit of partnership and co-operation and not against them in educating their children," the statement added.