An elementary school in Birmingham, England has indefinitely suspended pro-diversity lessons after protests from parents and community members critical of the curriculum’s inclusion of LGBTQ people.
Assistant headteacher Andrew Moffat has received threats for teaching the “No Outsiders” program, and demonstrations have been going on for weeks outside the school.
"It's about community cohesion in the UK today."@moffat_andrew is an assistant headteacher in Birmingham where some parents have protested over a project which includes teaching children about #homosexuality ⬇️#FridayMotivation #race #gender #lgbt #religions pic.twitter.com/aLs5hZS0bk
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) February 8, 2019
Some parents at Parkwood Community School objected along religious grounds, claiming such issues should be handled by parents and not educators.
“We don’t send our children to school to learn about LGBT [sic], we send them to school to learn about math, science, and English,” one parent told the Daily Mail.
Despite previously saying the lessons would go on undeterred despite the upset, school officials now say they will cease teaching them “until a resolution has been reached.”
According to The Guardian, parents said about 600 Muslim children, between the ages of four and 11, were kept home from school for the day.
Parents also filed a complaint against the school, but The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) not only cleared Parkwood of any wrongdoing, but the school’s watchdog also praised its record on promoting “tolerance, acceptance and mutual respect” and confirmed its Ofsted rating of “outstanding.”
Moffat previously resigned from another school, Chilwell Croft academy, after parents there also objected to the pro-LGBTQ nature of the “No Outsiders” curriculum.
The Parkfield Parents Community Group, which has been organizing protests, celebrated the announcement and said it would not continue the protests at present, but did not commit to ending them altogether.
The school released the following statement:
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.