UK Conservative politician Andrea Leadsom said it is ‘absolutely right’ parents should be able to withdraw their children up to a certain age from classes about LGBTI rights.
Leadsom joined Nick Ferrari at the LBC studio this morning (20 March) to discuss Brexit and respond to viewer questions. Leadsom is a vocal Brexiteer.
The politician made the comment when quizzed about LGBTI-inclusive teaching; a topic highly-debated after Parkfield Community School in Birmingham announced it will halt its LGBTI-inclusive teaching.
Parents held several protests outside the gates of the primary school in Birmingham, UK.
Furthering the debate, four more schools in the city have halted their own inclusive curriculums.
What did she say?
Leadsom spoke positively on the importance of LGBTI-inclusive lessons.
She said: ‘It’s absolutely vital children grow up understanding the society we live in and they grow up tolerant and seeking equality and respecting difference.
‘It’s important that we absolutely accept equality in every area.
‘But, at the same time, respect that parents might have concerns about how young children are when they become aware of this.’
‘You have to allow parents to withdraw their children’
Leadsom added: ‘But … I also agree that it is absolutely right that parents should be able to choose the moment in which their children become exposed to that information.’
Furthermore, she recommended there be ‘steps’ to ‘enable parents to withdraw their children from classes up until a certain age.’
But she added: ‘To have an equal society there is a point where children do need to understand the social norms around them.’
‘I’m a massive supporter’
Moreover, Leadsom commented on the UK government’s new guidance of making LGBTI relationships compulsory schools teaching.
‘I think my party has done a huge amount to support LGBT rights and quite rightly, too.
‘I’m a massive supporter of the efforts we’ve made to achieve real equality in LGBT rights.
‘I think it’s right that the Government have passed legislation that requires that relationships and sex education should be taught in schools.’
‘Exposed? Does she think it’s radiation’
Many have taken exception to her comments. In particular, some question her use of ‘exposed.’
One user said: ‘Exposed? Does she think it’s radiation.’
‘”Exposed”. Like we are some form of societal toxin,’ another said.
‘This position will do nothing but stigmatise LGBT children and damage their mental health. It will lead to ignorance and bullying,’
Finally, a user added: ‘There are gay parents In the playground at my kids school, should they be hidden in the playground so kids aren’t exposed?’