High Court suspends Anderton Park Primary School protests

June 7, 2019

Birmingham City Council has gained a High Court injunction preventing protests outside Anderton Park Primary School, the Birmingham school at the centre of the most intense demonstrations against teaching the acceptance of LGBT people. The Order, which was issued late last week, also prevents the encouragement of others to protest outside the school and bans attacks via social media on Anderton Park staff regarding the school’s “teaching of equalities”. The Order will last to at least June 10th, when it will be reconsidered by the Court.

Accord has been critical of lacklustre support by the Department for Education for schools attacked for promoting the acceptance of LGBT people. It has however welcomed comments in yesterday’s Times from the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, criticizing protests outside Anderton Park Primary School and affirming that “ultimately it is for the head teacher and the school to decide on the curriculum”. The comment piece also criticised recent comment from former MP and current MEP, Anne Widdecombe, that science may one day be able to provide “an answer” to people being gay.

Accord Coalition Chair, the Revd Stephen Terry, said ‘Birmingham Council should be congratulated for helping stop the hostile environment that had been created outside Anderton Park Primary School. The injunction however provides a welcome but only short-term solution concerning just one school.”

“As Anne Widdecombe’s insidious comments further highlight, prejudicial attitudes towards LGBT people are still prevalent in much of society. Schools have a key role in promoting acceptance towards LGBT people and indeed state funded schools are already obliged to do this. What they now require is greater support in providing this education, not left to fend for themselves until the scale of any criticism extends to angry public demonstrations.”

“This support is something the Department for Education is best placed to provide. Nick Gibb’s latest intervention should be welcomed, but it is disappointing that such sentiment has not been so clearly offered by the Education Secretary and far sooner. Central government is still leaving it to others to take a lead in defending LGBT inclusion in the school system, when it should be playing a far more active role.”

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