Ben HaywardNovember 26th
2019

A high court judge has permanently banned protests against equality lessons from taking place outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham.

The school, in the Sparkhill area of the city, has become the focus of an extended campaign by protestors to put a stop to the ‘No Outsiders’ LGBT equality programme from being taught in classrooms. 

The case was brought to trial by the local authority after protesters regularly stood outside the school chanting ‘Let kids be kids’ and carrying homophobic placards displaying messages such as ‘Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’.

Anti-LGBT Protests Banned

Birmingham city council launched court action in the hopes of preventing further protests following a demonstration in May which saw over 300 people gather outside the school, and included a speech by an imam claiming anal sex, paedophilia and transgenderism were being taught in schools.

High court judge, Mr Justice Warby, announced his verdict, saying an exclusion zone surrounding the school would now remain in place, permanently banning protesters from gathering nearby.

Mr Warby said the protesters had 'grossly misrepresented' what was being taught at the school and had had a significant impact on children, teachers and local residents, causing disruption to students and intimidating staff. 

LGBTQ

Dr Tim O’Neill, director of education and skills at Birmingham council, said the judgment had vindicated the school and would protect the community from rising levels of antisocial behaviour.

Dr O’Neill said: “As this court case has demonstrated, there remains a gap between the reality of what is and isn’t being taught at the school. Protests of this kind only serve to attract fringe elements whose aim is to stoke division and hatred. 

“We would therefore continue to encourage any concerned parents to engage with the school to have constructive discussions and address any issues.

“Looking ahead, it is important to remember that the Department for Education is introducing compulsory relationships education next year, helping children from all backgrounds understand the society they are growing up in, and fostering respect for others and for difference.”

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However, following the verdict, the protesters said an appeal was on the cards and that they would continue to protest on the edge of the exclusion zone.

The general secretary of National Association of Head Teachers, Paul Whiteman, said: “These protests have been widely and rightly condemned and they should now be brought to an end with immediate effect. An end to the protests will help everyone involved restore a peaceful and productive teaching and learning environment as swiftly as possible,”

“Dedicated public servants faithfully discharging their duty have an absolute right to feel confident and safe, pupils should never have to walk past noisy and aggressive protests on their way to school.”

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We’ve long said we want to end these protests and encourage positive dialogue, so we welcome the high court’s decision today.

“We continue to work with the school and parents to encourage positive and constructive engagement.”

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