A primary school in Birmingham, England is planning on resuming a modified version of its LGBTI lessons come September.
On Wednesday (3 July), Parkfield community school announced a new lesson plan: ‘No outsiders for a faith community.’
It’s an altered version of assistant headteacher Andrew Moffat’s pro-LGBTI lesson that was part of the school’s sex and relationship education program and originally sparked city-wide protests.
Parkfield suspended the original lessons in March, announcing they would no longer be taught ‘until a resolution has been reached’.
The resolution is the altered version, which keeps the city’s residents of faith in mind.
‘Following five months of consultation with parents, community representatives and the DfE [Department for Education], Parkfield community school will be relaunching their equality teaching in September 2019,’ a school spokesperson said.
‘As a result of the consultation, “No Outsiders for a faith community” has been especially designed for Parkfield community school, acknowledging and respecting the concerns and sensitivity expressed by some parents in the present school community.
‘In the resource, there are lessons referencing race, religion, age, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation and disability.’
The spokesperson added the school is sharing resources with parents ahead of time.
Not all Birmingham parents are happy with the compromise
Parents in the Muslim-majority community began protesting the lessons and removing their children from school in March.
It became a highly political and volatile situation. Politicians, activsts, and more began taking sides in the debate. The head of the UK school watchdog, Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, came down in favor of the schools and LGBTI-inclusive lessons.
Despite reaching a compromise, however, some parents remain upset. They are also still threatening to keep their children out of school.
‘This is because it is well known that the original programme, and now even the new programme, is heavily biased towards LGBTQ, whereas an equality programme doesn’t need to be,’ said the Parkfield Parents Group.
Fatima Shah, who was the first to pull her daughter out of lessons, agreed with the group.
She explained: ‘We have said we don’t want children in reception to be shown books with same-sex relationships. It’s confusing for them.’
A May survey, however, showed most Britons approve of same-sex relationships in children’s books.
‘But the school has said it will do exactly the same as it was doing before but with a slightly different name. How is that taking our views into account?’ she continued.
More recently, a high court placed an injunction on protests occurring outside other Birmingham schools.