‘Homophobes Should Keep Quiet’: Elementary School Accused of ‘Intimidating’ Christian Parents

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A UK primary school threatened with legal action over an LGBT pride parade for young children has been accused of intimidation after a concerned mother was met by a member of staff wearing a T-shirt which “belittled” Christian views.

When Izzy Montague met with the head of Heavers Farm Primary School to discuss concerns that teachers’ promoting of LGBT lifestyles conflicted with Christian beliefs, she was confronted by a member of staff wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan: “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?”

“Given the nature of my complaints it was obviously a deliberate act to wear the T-shirt. I believe it was intended to belittle my views and intimidate me into silence,” she told the British Mail on Sunday tabloid.

Mrs Montague made the appointment with headteacher Susan Papas in September to discuss the school’s refusal to excuse her five-year-old son from its ‘Proud to be Me’ parade during so-called gay pride month in June, which a number of Christian parents of children at Heaver Farm have complained was set up to promote LGBT lifestyles.

“I thought this was completely unreasonable … Our children were being indoctrinated with values that they do not need to be taught at such a young age,” she said, telling the newspaper other parents had spoken of teachers reading children storybooks about homosexual penguins and that “no one consulted us about this”.

“Schools are supposed to be tolerant of different faiths as well as different sexualities,” stressed Mrs Montague, who has now pulled her son out of the Croydon primary school.

“Within our faith we teach that a man and a woman together is what makes a family, but in my eyes the school were promoting a different type of lifestyle to the pupils.”

Mrs Montague has now launched an official complaint about the T-shirt, which was worn by Attie Copeman-Papas — the school’s ‘deputy safeguarding manager’ and the head teacher’s daughter — who sat in during the meeting.

“It was highly unprofessional and surely does not adhere to the school policy dress code for staff,” she wrote in the letter, which accuses Copeman-Papas of failing to respect her Christian beliefs.

Ms Papas said the “threat of legal action” meant she was unable to comment on Mrs Montague’s case, but stated that the T-shirt worn by her daughter — a graduate student of ‘sports sociology and feminist theory’ whose papers include “A Feminist Psychoanalytic Approach to the Roles of the Penis, the Phallus and Hegemonic Gender Norms in ‘Feminist Porn’” — was not in breach of the school’s code of conduct.

It was reported last week that Heavers Farm has been threatened with legal action, with 14 Christian parents complaining that the school is “forcing a very aggressive LGBT agenda on to young children in a manner which abuses parental rights and victimises parents”.

Claiming “most of the feedback” to June’s parade “was really positive”, Ms Papas insisted that the school would not “shy away from issues that are important for children to learn about”.

She added: “With pride in British values we have a thread of work – on black history, disability awareness, 100 years since women got the vote – but generally talking to the children about matters of inclusion and diversity.

“Last year we did something for Pride month and focused on what children were proud of.

“Alongside that we were doing work on anti-bullying, anti-transphobic and anti-homophobic language. The older children were looking at the history of LGBT rights.”

While denying anyone had been directly forced to participate in the event, the headteacher did say “[Heavers Farm] would expect children to go to any assembly, class or event put on by the school”.


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