In a show of dissent, over 100 parents gathered outside Birchfields Primary School in Manchester to protest against what they perceive as “age-inappropriate” LGBTQ-inclusive education. Here’s the full story.
Save Our Kids?
Carrying signs that read “stop sexualizing our children” and “save our kids from age-inappropriate material,” the demonstrators voiced their concerns about the school’s relationships and sexuality education (RSE) lessons.
The Organizer Shared the Reasons
Mohammed Sajjad, the organizer of the rally and a parent of children attending the school, expressed the desire for an open and honest discussion with teachers regarding the content and delivery of the RSE curriculum.
The Lessons Must Be About Positive Relationships
According to government guidelines, RSE lessons in primary schools focus on teaching students about positive relationships, including friendships, family dynamics, and relationships with peers and adults.
Protesters Argue Explicit Content Was Shown to Kids
However, the protesters allege that explicit content, including a video featuring a seven-year-old transgender child, was shown during a lesson last year.
Several Complaints Were Made
Sajjad claims that parents submitted 120 complaints regarding this issue.
Following the outcry, the video in question was removed from the curriculum, as reported by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
Several Children Were Kept Out of School
However, the controversy surrounding the curriculum has led to hundreds of children being kept out of school.
The Protestors Were Furious
In a video, Roshan Salih, a publication editor, highlighted the protesters’ anger, emphasizing their belief that explicit sex education videos were shown to very young children.
The Curriculum Needs to Be Reviewed
The rally called for a comprehensive review of the curriculum to ensure that all content is age-appropriate and sensitive to cultural and religious perspectives.
The School Replied
A representative from the school clarified that they had never taught sex education but had successfully implemented relationship education.
Focus Was On Happy Kids
They expressed pride in their commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive school where children thrive and are happy.
The School Assured the Protestors
The school spokesperson acknowledged that some parents had recently expressed concerns about the curriculum’s content, which is determined by the Department for Education.
They assured protesters that the school is working closely with parents to address the raised issues.
The Department of Education Is Reviewing the Curriculum
In response to the controversy, the Department of Education confirmed that an urgent review of the RSE curriculum has been initiated to ensure age-appropriate and fact-based teaching.
The department also emphasized that parents should have the opportunity to view all curriculum materials.
The City Council Expressed Its Support
Manchester City Council reported that it had received concerns from a small number of parents and expressed its commitment to resolving the issues at hand.
The council underscored the importance of children and young people growing up with an understanding and respect for differences among individuals.
The Council Urged Parents Not to Disrupt the School
They urged parents not to disrupt the learning environment, as children and staff have the right to attend school without fear or interruption.
Not All Parents Were Protesting
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
“I Thought We Were Over This”
One Twitter user wrote, “Absolutely disgusting. The school is educating children about LGBTQ+ people existing. I honestly thought we were over this.”
Another Reddit user commented, “Can we maybe agree that 100 parents protesting is also equal to tens of thousands of parents not protesting.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Zoran Karapancev. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.