Press Release

Parent to confront primary school governors over treatment following Gay Pride complaint

20 November 2018         Issued by: Christian Legal Centre

A parent will today challenge the governors of a primary school after it compelled primary-aged children, as young as five, to take part in a ‘Gay Pride’ event.

Mrs Izoduwa 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.

At the meeting, Mrs Montague will raise concerns about the behaviour of senior members of staff, including that they misled her with incorrect statements of law and failed to follow proper procedures.

Despite requests from other parents, only Mrs Montague has been permitted to attend today’s meeting.

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 could 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.

The Christian Legal Centre is providing support to the group of parents as they challenge their treatment and knows of at least ten families that are raising objections.

Education, not indoctrination

Mrs Izoduwa 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:

“In another example of ‘totalitolerance’, those who preach tolerance and diversity the loudest do not appear to be interested in practising it.

“The treatment of parents at Heavers Farm Primary School represents one of the most chilling breaches of parental rights I have ever seen in my many years of working on educational issues.

“Education is always a partnership between the school and parents, but the school’s actions show disrespect, dismissiveness and hostility towards these parents. A particular agenda is being forced onto children inside the school gates and parents are being given no means to ensure that their children are being taught in line with their religious and philosophical beliefs.”

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