Protests against LGBT teaching to continue despite injunction

Protests against LGBT teaching to continue despite injunction

Protesters outside Parkfield Community Primary School in Birmingham

Monday, June 3, 2019

Parents protesting against LGBT teaching at a Birmingham primary school have vowed to continue their campaign despite an injunction.

Demonstrators vowed to carry out a fresh protest later this week - but away from Anderton Park Primary School's gates.

An interim High Court injunction secured by the council has banned demonstrations taking place within an exclusion zone around the site.

The legal bid bars those objecting to use of particular relationship education materials from protesting anywhere near the school.

On Monday, protesters held a press conference outside Birmingham City Council's offices in the heart of the city, labelling the seeking of an injunction "unjust" and "irresponsible".

Protesters who have been demonstrating against LGBT relationship education held a press conference in Birmingham city centre

Protests have been sparked over some parents' concerns about elements of the teaching materials, including two books: one about two male penguins who raise an egg, and another about a boy who wears a dress.

The action had spread from the Parkfield Community Primary School, in Saltley, where similar objections were raised.

Rosina Afsar, who has two children at Moseley-based Anderton Park school, said: "We will challenge the injunction in court, we will also judicially review all of the unjust and irresponsible behaviour by the school and council.

"We are also left with no option but to continue with our peaceful protests, starting this Friday."

Mrs Afsar, a stay-at-home mother with a seven-year-old son and daughter, four, at the school, added that parents had asked "again and again" for talks to discuss the material.

The 33-year-old said the protesters had been "exceptionally affronted" by the money "wasted on fighting parents, instead of talking to them".

The school's headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson had labelled the protests "toxic and nasty" and signalled the intention to pursue an injunction, following repeated protests, before it was granted on Friday.

West Midlands Police, whose chief constable had called for an end to the mega-phone led demonstrations outside the school gates, has said it is investigating malicious messages sent to the head.

A new High Court hearing has already been scheduled to hear from anyone objecting to the injunction, on June 10.

Councillor John Cotton, the city council cabinet member responsible for equalities, said: "The council believes all of our schools should be a safe place where all of our children can learn freely.

"That's why we sought the injunction."

He added: "We now ask there is a proper dialogue with the school and we encourage all parents to play their part in that."

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