Birmingham LGBT lessons not age appropriate says MP – BBC News

Birmingham LGBT lessons \not age appropriate\ says MP - BBC News
LGBT lessons: police chief calls for end to Birmingham protests
The chief constable of West Midlands police, Dave Thompson, said a number of criminal offences had occurred outside Anderton Park primary school in Birmingham since Sunday evening.

The force received reports at 9.30pm on Sunday of assault and criminal damage on Dennis Road in Moseley, as well as reports of malicious communications received by the school last Thursday.

Speaking of the recent clashes between the two sides outside the school, Mr Thompson said: In the last 24 hours, a number of criminal offences have taken place that the force will investigate and seek to bring people to justice.

Video: Anti-LGBT protesters clash with Labour MP

600 pupils kept home from Birmingham school in row over LGBT lessons

Police were at the school on Monday after protesters claimed about 600 pupils were withdrawn from lessons.

In recent months some Birmingham primary schools have been subject to protests by parents concerning the schools curriculum on equality, he said. These had resulted in an ongoing protest outside Anderton Park primary school which had been lawful to date, and which the police had been monitoring, he said.

UK MP Clashes With Muslim Protesters Demanding to Cancel Schools LGBTQ Course

However, he added, several criminal offences had taken place in the last 24 hours, which police would investigate.

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As a citizen of this city, I have observed these protests and the rhetoric around them with increasing concern. West Midlands police values and celebrates the diversity of this area. We believe the strength of this city is in tolerant and diverse communities, he said.

As The Sun reported, MP for Birmingham Yardley Jess Phillips confronted one of the organisers of the protests, Shakeel Afsar, claiming that parents had kept 600 children away from lessons over the equality teaching controversy. Talking to Afsar, who is spearheading the campaign despite having no children at the school in question, she insisted that his supporters could not “pick and choose” which equality they want. The woman also accused them of smearing “the reputation of a peaceful” Muslim community in the city.

Sadly, this is not the image of Birmingham that these events are projecting around the country and the world.

He urged campaigners to consider the adverse impact their protests were having on the reputation of the city, broader cohesion and, most importantly, the children at this school.

She said she feels embarrassment for lots of our community and our parents who think this is just awful whats happening; frustration that its going on so long; frustration that great British laws like you can protest peacefully actually are causing us a problem.

Views are entrenching with a determination to win this argument. This is creating an environment where those who seek division will have cause to celebrate and to exploit. Frankly, a primary school is no place for the continuance of a large-scale protest, however lawful.

In March, leaflets were handed out by protesters outside the school that said stop No Outsiders, however Hewitt-Clarksons school does not actually offer the programme. Instead, they weave teaching about the Equality Act into their wider curriculum.

He added: In this holy period of Ramadan, and as we celebrate Pride in our city, I urge those involved and those who can influence these events to think again and consider how they can come together to discuss these strongly held views and bring this protest to an end.

Its relationships education, its not sexual relationships, its relationships, so its about being kind, having friends, sharing. If I support a different football team to you, thats OK, we can have our differences, we can still be friends.

He said the force could not solve the problem but it would support those seeking a solution. Equally, we will act where people seek to exploit these matters and break the law.

The campaigner said parents were first aware of the lessons when pupils came home with books such as the Princess Boy, a book described as 'a story about love and acceptance,' Mr Afsar said he was talking about a number of religious communities feeling discomfort at the teaching.

The West Midlands police and crime commissioner, David Jamieson, said: Teachers should be free to get on with teaching a full curriculum, that highlights and explains Britains full diversity without fear of protests or threats. All forms of equality are equally important.

Parent's were made to feel their "parental rights were being stripped" the campaigner at the heart of protests over LGBT equality lessons told LBC.

As a former headteacher, I understand full well that schools need to work with parents and would encourage productive dialogue to continue.

The situation has been on-going at several schools in the region with the Anderton Park School seeing almost daily protests at the gates at home time.

Jess Phillips Brands Anti-LGBT Lesson Protester A “Chancer”

I must emphasise though that protests and threats have no place outside of the school gates and where there is evidence of criminality the police will be investigating thoroughly.

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Posted in Birmingham