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Parkfield school officially suspends LGBT-acceptance lessons 'until a resolution is reached'

The climbdown comes after mass protests from homophobic parents and the removal of children from school.

2019-03-14

Words: Will Stroude

Parkfield Community School has announced that its 'No Outsiders' programme has been officially suspended following protests from homophobic parents unhappy with its message of LGBT-acceptance.

The Muslim-majority primary school in Birmingham, which in recent weeks has been subjected to protests outside the school gates, said that the lessons "will not be taught" until "a resolution has been reached".

In a statement, the school said that parents' mass removal of their children from lessons had forced them to suspend the programme, which, as well as teaching children that LGBT people exist and deserve respect, covered topics including race, gender and disability.

"Nothing is more important than ensuring our children’s education continues uninterrupted," Parkfield said.

 

"Yesterday, both parents and the trust held constructive discussions with the Regional Schools Commissioner, and as a result of these discussions we are eager to continue to work together with parents, over the coming days and weeks to find a solution that will support the children in our school to continue their education in a harmonious environment.

"Until a resolution has been reached , No Outsiders lessons will not be taught at Parkfield and we hope that children will not be removed from school to take part in protests."

The move comes after Parkfield previously insisted that No Outsiders lessons, which are currently on hiatus this half of term, would return as planned after the Easter holidays - and just days after Osted ruled that the lessons in question were entirely "age-appropriate".

 

Parkfield's assistant head teacher Andrew Moffat, who is gay, has also been subject to a personal hate campaign over the programme he started back in 2014 to foster acceptance among students.

Shocking footage of protests outside Parkfield posted to social media showed crowds directing a chant of 'shame' at the mention of Mr Moffat's name, as one man says children are being indoctrinated" and told "it's okay to be Muslim and gay".

Despite the attacks, Mr Moffat, who was awarded an MBE in 2017 for his services to equality and diversity in education, has been nominated for the $1million Global Teacher Prize for his work improving the chances of students in his community.