Back in November, Christian Concern brought you the news that mother, Izzy Montague, was one of several parents to challenge her child’s primary school for forcing children as young as five to participate in an event celebrating gay pride. Now, Izzy has launched a legal challenge over how her son’s school treated her after making the complaint.
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.
Several of the parents, including Mrs Montague, have reported that they were treated dismissively and victimised following their complaints, in several cases, reporting 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 headteacher’s daughter, also a member of staff, who wore a confrontational t-shirt bearing the slogan, “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.
One parent spoke out
However, Izzy has spoken out. She said: “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.”
Izzy is now taking 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 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.
Izzy hopes 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 clarity that schools cannot force controversial moral and political views onto children under the dubious cover of their equality duty.
Izzy is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre as she challenges her treatment by the school.
Son put in detention
Roger Kiska, of the Christian Legal Centre said: “Following the meeting with the Executive Headteacher, two weeks later the Headteacher sent out the outcome letter and on that very day her son was put in detention for three hours.
“He’d never been in detention before. The following day, he gets another detention. So, if that’s not victimisation, I don’t know what is.
“Izzy brought her concerns forward. She was banned from the school yard and eventually pushed out of the school altogether.”
Importance of parental rights
Andrea Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre commented: “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.”
Find out more about Izzy Montague