The Sunday Times is reporting that a gay assistant head teacher who wrote books challenging homophobia for primary school children has resigned after parents complained that they did not want their children “learning that it’s OK to be gay”…
The row at Chilwell Croft Academy in Birmingham, mainly involving Muslim parents, is the latest controversy at a secular state school in the city. A dozen schools in Birmingham are under investigation by the Department for Education (DfE) over allegations of financial mismanagement and the introduction of Islamic practices.
Andrew Moffat, who resigned from Chilwell Croft primary school in December and will leave his post this month, said some Christian parents had also complained.
His books, entitled Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools, have been used in literacy lessons for 10- and 11-year-olds, including those at Chilwell Croft.
One lesson describes a picnic at which gay families are guests. Pupils are encouraged to treat all the picnic guests equally and not to use the word “gay” as an insult.
Moffat, who has worked at the school for five years, also trained teachers on how to prevent homophobic bullying in primary schools.
In a statement, Chilwell Croft said: “A minority group of parents . . . objected to some of the resource books being used in literacy lessons with some of the oldest children in the school, which explored relationships in different families.
“The . . . objections were primarily voiced by those whose own religion took an opposing stance to homosexuality.”
…Liam Nolan, the high- profile gay head teacher at Perry Beeches Academy in Birmingham, said he had been “incredibly shocked that an assistant head teacher who was doing incredible work around relationship education had been intimidated by a small group of what are being seen as extremists in the city”.
He added: “The Muslim community is being allowed to influence government legislation around equality.”
However, Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said schools had a duty to tell parents before introducing literature that some might object to on religious grounds.
“If parents are coming from a particular religious group, whether it is Islamic or Christian, and they have a concern at what they might consider the promotion of homosexuality, the school’s position should be made clear to them…”
More at: Gay teacher resigns after parent protest (subscription required)
Are you surprised and disappointed to hear that parents have reacted in this way or is it a significant issues amongst faith communities? Do schools have to more sensitive to parental opinion when they cover homosexuality in class or not? Please share you experiences or views…