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Education Secretary Damian Hinds: Britain has always been a tolerant society but tolerance has broken down

Schools in Birmingham have faced protests by parents following LGBTQ-inclusive lessons

2019-05-29

Damian Hinds has said ‘tolerance and respect’ has broken down amid ongoing protests outside schools in Birmingham.

Both Parkfield Community School and Anderton Park Primary School, in Birmingham, have been at the front of ongoing protests by parents who are outraged that the schools are teaching LGBTQ-inclusive lessons.

Despite multiple parents holding homophobic banners, they continue to claim that they are not homophobic but when allies turned up to show support for the schools, they were pelted with eggs.

Now Education Secretary, Damian Hinds – who recently pushed for LGBT relationships to be discussed in a new curriculum – has called out the parents protesting.

In a comment piece to the Birmingham Mail, he wrote: “Britain has always been a tolerant and diverse society.

“We have welcomed those from different races, faiths and ideas for many centuries.

“Rather than be just a melting pot, where everyone assimilates to one common identity, we have always respected different cultures while we celebrate that shared identity.

"We have learned together and grown together in communities all across the country – always in the knowledge, as the late Jo Cox MP so wonderfully put it, we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

“In recent weeks this tolerance and respect has broken down – and it has happened at the school gates.”

He then went on to say that he wants every young person to ‘understand the core principles’ that have helped the UK ‘flourish over the centuries’.

“We want every young person growing up and going to school in our country to understand the core principles that have helped our country and society to flourish over the centuries,” he continued.

“The values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs – and those without faith.

“It is entirely right that schools should prepare children to thrive in our diverse society, a society that is based on tolerance and respect for others who are different. 

“We brought our curriculum for relationships up to date precisely so that it more accurately reflects the world that children are growing up in now.”