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Hundreds of pupils kept home from school following row over LGBTI lessons

Hundreds of pupils kept home from school following row over LGBTI lessons

Parkfield Community School muslim parents lgbt protest over LGBTI-inclusivity lessons

Hundreds of parents have taken their children out of a school in Birmingham because it teaches lessons in LGBTI inclusivity.

The parents are opposed to the No Outsiders program, which teaches lessons on gender identity and same-sex couples at Parkfield Community School in Birmingham.

They claim that 80% of the primary school’s pupils had been kept home on Friday (1 March), the BBC reports.

The school, which has around 740 pupils, has not commented on the latest development.

However, in previous weeks the school has expressed support for both the program and the teacher who introduced it, Andrew Moffat.

Protests and threats 

The No Outsiders program has been a contentious issue for weeks, with many in the local Muslim-majority community vocally opposed to it.

Moffat, the school’s Assistant Headteacher who is openly gay, has been accused of pursuing his personal ‘agenda’.

The teacher said he has received threats and ‘nasty’ emails from parents over the program.

Protests of over 100 people have also taken place outside of the school gates, and a petition against the classes has gained over 400 signatures.

A local Labour councilor has also sided with the parents.

However, the UK’s school watchdog, Ofsted, has expressed support in LGBTI-inclusivity classes.

Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of Ofsted, said children should learn that ‘sometimes there are families that have two mummies or two daddies’ regardless of their religious background.

Ofsted has ranked Parkfield school as ‘exceptional’ in the past.

Moffat has said that those opposed were a small minority, with most parents supportive of his work.

Global recognition 

Moffat has received similar backlash for his pro-LGBTI teachings in other schools in the past.

However, he has also received widespread praise for his work in furthering the teaching of LGBTI issues in schools.

Moffat’s No Outsiders program has been taught in numerous schools throughout Britain.

Last month, the teacher was shortlisted for a global education award.

The prestigious Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize 2019 celebrates exceptional teachers. The winner will receive a $1 million award for their work.

Prior to this, the Moffat received an MBE for his services to education.