Angry parents in Birmingham have launched a protest against their majority Muslim school for introducing a curriculum supporting homosexuality.
BiminghamLive reports that the protest at Parkfield Community School in Saltley came after an openly gay assistant headteacher, Andrew Moffat, piloted “No Outsiders” – a programme run alongside sex and relationship education (SRE) lessons. Its ethos promotes LGBT equality and challenges homophobia in primary schools. Homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Islam.
A leaflet handed out to parents outside Parkfield School today read: “Brothers and sisters, is it OK for your children to be gay? Are you aware of the resource being used in literacy lessons promoting homosexuality? Did you know Mr Moffat left his last role because parents believed he had no right coming out to children? They wanted all the lessons containing LGBT to be removed from curriculum.
“Did you know that our children are now being taught the very same thing? Have you asked what your children are being taught? What they are reading? Please join us in our petition to have the No Outsider removed from the curriculum. Please help us make a difference to what children are being taught.”
Fatima Shah, who has taken her 10-year-old daughter out of the school, told BirminghamLive: “It’s inappropriate, totally wrong. Children are being told it’s OK to be gay yet 98 per cent of children at this school are Muslim. It’s a Muslim community. I’ve taken my daughter out and other parents have too. Enough is enough.
“Sex relationship education is being taught without our consent. We’ve not been informed about what’s being taught. Mr Moffat is running what’s called CHIPS – challenging homophobia in primary schools – and it’s totally against Islamic beliefs. My child came home and told me am I OK to be a boy? It’s confusing children about sexuality.”
Mr Moffat and the school have defended the programme, which they said had been fully explained to parents. They added: “No Outsiders allows us to raise awareness of these differences so that children are able to tolerate and accept differences in our society.”
In 2014 Moffat resigned from Chilwell Croft Academy in Newtown following a backlash from parents after coming out during a school assembly.
“It seemed like the right time to let the children know that they knew a gay person,” he said previously. “Following my coming out, some parents from different communities complained to the school, but I maintain that my decision was the right one at that time. Some Christian and some Muslim parents have told me they don’t want their children learning that it’s OK to be gay.”
In a joint statement outlining concerns by parents, Mr Moffat and Hazel Pulley, CEO of Excelsior Multi Academy Trust, said Parkfield Community School “have no plans to change their curriculum and No Outsiders remains an integral part of the drive for excellence.”