New exclusion zone at Anderton Park Primary School welcomed

By agency reporter
June 12, 2019

Humanists UK has welcomed the introduction of a new exclusion zone at Anderton Park Primary School which bans anti-LGBT protestors from taking part in or coordinating protests in an area around the school.

Humanists UK, which has long campaigned for fully inclusive Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) for all pupils regardless of background, said the move to ban Shakeel Afsar, Rosina Afsar, Amir Ahmed, and "all persons unknown" from protesting in the area, along with further bans on protesting in nearby streets, was "excellent news" and shows that the "law has prevailed" in keeping students and staff safe.

The ruling, issued by Mr Justice Warby QC at Birmingham Civil Court, was made late on 10 June 2019 after the interim injunction which was granted in an emergency hearing at the High Court in London two weeks ago.

The school has been at the centre of a fiery debate over LGBT-inclusive lessons. Last month the protests escalated to new levels when hundreds of protestors, mostly Muslim parents and supporters, shouted homophobic statements while children walked through the school gates. One of the protestors was also heard saying "God created women for men’s pleasure."

Humanists UK Education Campaigns Manager, Dr Ruth Wareham said: "It is excellent news that the law has prevailed in keeping students and staff safe from these ugly protests that undermine equality and respect for all. While people still have the right to show their objections to RSE, it must be in a way that is not threatening or harmful to children and others, and those protestors must also understand that this type of inclusive teaching is enshrined in the Equality Act.

"The headteacher and the whole school should be commended for their unwavering commitment to standing up against bigotry and ensuring that children receive LGBT-inclusive lessons. These lessons promote respect and tolerance for all students, help to reduce bullying, and give children the information they need to stay happy, healthy, and safe.

"But we again urge the Government to issue stronger guidance about the need to teach LGBT inclusion in schools to prevent situations like this happening elsewhere. As it stands, too much responsibility is put on individual headteachers and not all will feel willing or able to resist the level of parental pressure we have seen in this case. The Government must get behind schools or risk many children missing out on a crucial aspect of their education."

* Humanists UK https://humanism.org.uk/

[Ekk/6]

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.