Saturday, March 07, 2009

Parents face prosecution over 'gay' education class protest

Sara Dixon in The Times
'PARENTS who took their children out of school to prevent them being taught about lesbian, gay and transgender relationships are facing prosecution.

Around 30 pupils from an east London primary school were absent from a week of special lessons to highlight non-heterosexual partnerships.

To mark the event some students watched a special adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet retitled Romeo and Julian.

Stories covered in the lessons at George Tomlinson School included a fairytale about a prince who turns down three princesses before falling in love with one of their brothers and the tale of Roy and Silo - two male penguins who fall in love.

The protesting parents said the content was more appropriate for secondary school pupils and now they face possible court action.

Some of the parents said they informed the Leytonstone school they were removing their children for the week.

Pervez Latif, whose children Saleh, ten, and Abdur-Rahim, nine, attend the school, said both Christian and Muslim parents objected to the theme linked to Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month.

Mr Latif is quoted as saying: “I didn’t want my children to be learning about this.

“I wrote a letter to the chairman of the governors explaining that I would be taking my children out of school and he wrote back saying that there was no other option.”

He added parents were informed of the lessons by newsletter.

Sarah Saeed, 40, also took her eight-year-old daughter out of school during the week. She claims she told the school she would remove her daughter if they went ahead with their plans.

She is quoted as saying: “It is not an appropriate age for the children to be learning such matters.

“She has a 100 per cent attendance record otherwise. This is the only time and this is the only choice I had.”

Officials at Waltham Forest Council said there were unauthorised absences from George Tomlinson School when it covered topics relevant to lesbian, gay and transgender history.

They said action had been taken against the protesting parents but are currently refusing to say how they plan to punish them.

Mr Latif reportedly said his wife feared it could end with them having to defend their decision in court as their children are being treated as truants.

To deal with truant pupils Waltham Forest Council can make parents can sign a contract, impose fines or bring them to court.'

Schools teach peversion and parents are threatened. It's a queer world out there.

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