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‘Homophobic’ video linked to anti-LGBT school protests investigated

Lydia Smith August 1, 2019
Protestors against LGBT lessons outside Anderton Park Primary school, Birmingham

Protestors outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham. (Alum Rock Community Forum)

A video described as “homophobic” linked to protests over the teaching of LGBT rights in primary schools is being investigated by police.

The clip is linked to demonstrations against relationships education lessons in Birmingham schools which took place earlier this year, the BBC reports.

Speaking anonymously, an officer for counter-terrorist scheme Prevent told the BBC they fear “Islamist and far-right activists are using the protests to foster division between communities.”

West Midlands Police said it was reviewing the material, which was reported by the headteacher of one of the schools affected.

Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, of Anderton Park Primary, told BBC Newsnight: “I think it’s a police matter because it’s clearly homophobic, it incites hatred towards gay people.”

She added that claims children were taught about “any kind of sex” are untrue.

Protestors lined up outside of Parkfield School, Birmingham
People protested LGBT-inclusive education outside Parkfield Community School earlier this year (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Hewitt-Clarkson said the school had also received anti-Muslim material which has been reported to the police.

Government “too slow” to act over school protests

Earlier this year, the adviser tasked with challenging extremism in the UK said the government was “too slow” to respond to the “mob” protests outside primary schools in Birmingham over the teaching of LGBT rights.

Sara Khan told BBC’s Panorama that the Department for Education should have given more support to head teachers and clarified exactly what is being taught in classrooms.

Khan was appointed by the home secretary to lead the Commission for Countering Extremism, but is independent from government.

She said “so much more” could have been done by the government in response to the protests.

“I think they were too slow to respond. There’s a lot of confusion about what’s actually being taught and I think the Department of Education could have played a very important role in clarifying to parents this is what’s actually being taught, not the misinformation that we’re seeing out there,” Khan said.

Describing the protests at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham, she added: “It’s a mob chanting and shouting and engaging in intimidating and threatening behaviour. And I think we have to recognise that and call it out for what it is.”

More: Anderton Park Primary School, Birmingham, Education, LGBT school protests, school, school protests

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