The culture clash about sex education that’s turned a primary school into a battlezone

Mar 10, 2019 by

by , Telegraph:

Outside Parkfield Community School in Birmingham is a blue and white sign. “We are a Unicef Gold Rights Respecting school,” it reads. “Children’s rights are learned, understood and lived in this school.” Even the sign welcoming children in to this Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ primary every morning is written in six different languages, ensuring no one in its diverse community is left out. It’s 8am, and on any normal Thursday, the playground, with its blooming allotment and colourful play equipment, would be filling with children waving goodbye to their parents. Today, the school is a battleground.

Pressed against the gates, 150 mothers and their children clutch placards with messages of protest. “Let kids be kids!” “Say no to undermining parental rights and authority!” “Respect and be respected!”

[…]  It isn’t just the Muslim community who have come out to protest. Dr Lisa Nolland, a Christian campaigner and sex historian, has travelled from Bristol to offer her support, congratulating them for “showing us the way”. “This isn’t about religion, it isn’t even about parents, it’s about what’s best for kids,” she tells me. “This is literally eroticising child development. This is damaging children. The numbers of child-on-child sex abuse are awful. Turn the volume down.”

For many, the Parkfield protests have brought back chilling memories of Section 28, part of the government’s flagship 1988 Local Government Act that prevented schools from “promoting” homosexuality – a fanciful notion, but one that ensured a generation of teachers demurred when it came to discussing homosexuality in the classroom. The law was only revoked in 2003.

The No Outsiders classes are currently not running at Parkfield, but the school says it fully intends to relaunch the programme after the Easter break. Though it hopes to hold talks with concerned parties before then, the parents have vowed to continue protesting until the school scraps the lessons permanently.

“The way it’s going I think it will end up with a further walk out,” says Mariam, “possibly not just for a day either.”

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