Press Release

Mother launches challenge against school for treatment after LGBT Pride complaint

24 March 2019         Issued by: Christian Legal Centre

A mother has launched a legal challenge over how her son’s school treated her after she raised a complaint about primary-aged children, as young as five, being forced to take part in a ‘Gay Pride’ event.

Mrs Izzy Montague is one of a group of parents of children at Heavers Farm Primary School in South East London who complained at their children being forced to take part at the event, which took place in June 2018.

Several of the parents, including Mrs Montague, have reported that they were treated dismissively and victimised following their complaints.

Mrs Montague has now taken formal legal action against both the school and Croydon Council. She has filed a complaint with the County Court against the Governing Body of Heavers Farm Primary School alleging breach of her parental rights, victimisation and harassment at the hands of the school.

She has also filed a complaint under the Education Act 1996 to the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, asking him to use his authority to remedy the pervasive nature of LGBT proselytism within Heavers Farm Primary School. It is her hope that, more than just finding redress for her own treatment and what she sees as the indoctrination of her son, at a national level we can finally have some clarity that schools cannot force controversial moral and political views onto children under the dubious cover of their equality duty.

The Christian Legal Centre is providing support to Mrs Montague as she challenges her treatment.

No opt outs allowed

In June 2018, the Headteacher of Heavers Farm Primary School in South East London made all pupils take part in a Pride parade within the school. Despite numerous complaints from parents, they were informed that no ‘opt outs’ would be allowed.

Parents who complained were treated dismissively and, in several cases, have reported that the school retaliated against them by barring them from the school premises or treating separate safeguarding complaints dismissively.

When one family asked to meet the Executive Headteacher, Ms Susan Papas, to discuss the issue, they were joined at the meeting by the head’s daughter, also a member of staff, who confrontationally wore a t-shirt asking, “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic, when you can just be quiet?”

Parents also say that they have been misled with incorrect statements of law when they challenged the school on the issue of the Pride event.

Parents claim that the school is forcing a very aggressive LGBT agenda onto children under 12 years of age in a manner which abuses parental rights and victimises parents. Many of the complaining parents are fearful of speaking to the press over concerns that their children will be further victimised and/or expelled.

Education, not indoctrination

Mrs Montague commented:

“After I complained about my young child being forced to take place in an event that goes against our Christian beliefs, the school’s attitude towards me changed completely. I know other parents who are afraid to speak up because of how the school has treated me.

“It was like being bullied. They stopped treating me like any other parent but were antagonistic towards me. I believe that they retaliated against me by unreasonably excluding me from the premises, victimising my child and not taking my safeguarding concerns seriously.

“I wasn’t even trying to stop the Pride event. I just wanted my child to receive an education, rather than indoctrination.”

Andrea Williams, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre said:

“The way Izzy was treated by staff at Heavers Farm Primary School shows the importance of maintaining parental rights to opt their children out of relationships and sex education. These lessons sometimes prematurely sexualise young children by introducing them to topics before they’re ready. The lessons often seek not only to raise understanding and tolerance of alternative lifestyles but the outright acceptance and approval of them. The dismissiveness shown to Izzy and many other parents when they raised concerns will only be multiplied if the government proceeds with plans to take away these freedoms.”

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