MP Jess Phillips clashes with protester over Birmingham school’s LGBT lessons | UK News


An MP and a protester have clashed in the street over a Birmingham primary school that teaches LGBT issues to children.

Some parents stopped their children going from the Muslim-majority Anderton Park school on Monday in protest, with claims 600 stayed at home.

Protesters say the lessons are intolerant of Islamic beliefs and are “indoctrinating” children by teaching them about same-sex relationships and gender identity.

The man accused Ms Phillips of  being 'intolerant toward us'
Shakeel Afsar accused Ms Phillips of being ‘intolerant toward us’

The school has said the protesters are spreading “lies and misinformation” and that most are not parents.

MP Jess Phillips told a man outside the school: “You are harming the Muslim community… you are whipping up hatred of the Muslim community.”

“I don’t agree with the protests,” she added.

“I don’t agree you can pick and choose the equality you can and can’t have. Our equality laws protect us all.”

Ms Phillips is not the MP for the area but said she was asked to visit by the headteacher and wanted an “exclusion area” to protect children from the protests.

Culture clash: Conflict in the classroom

The protester, Shakeel Afsar, asked the Birmingham Yardley MP: “How come you haven’t been here and supported 300 parents who’ve been protesting here for the last four weeks?”

:: The parents who say their kids are being ‘indoctrinated’ by UK schools

He said 600 children had not turned up for school – but Ms Phillips poured scorn on that claim.

Mr Afsar, who has a niece and nephew at Anderton Park, said: “Our MPs have become that intolerant toward us that rather than coming out and trying to resolve this matter they’re becoming confrontational with parents… exclusion zones to parents who are concerned about their children, really?”

Protests are being held outside school gates over the teaching of gay relationships at a school with predominantly Muslim pupils.
Protests have been held outside the school gates

The largest protest so far was on Friday when people chanted, held signs with slogans such as “my child my choice”, and called for the headteacher to quit.

But on Monday LGBT rainbow flags were put up at the school in support.

Protest leaders have said the action could spread to other areas of the country and that the Birmingham demonstrations were a “pilot project” for wider opposition.

Head teacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson told Sky News it was “so disappointing” that some parents had kept their children at home on Monday.

She said: “There were a group of parents in various different positions around the school blocking the pavement.

“So my deputy head went out and asked them to move to allow parents to bring in their children, and they were harassing people.”

Ms Hewitt-Clarkson said she supported the idea of an exclusion zone because staff, children and most parents were “fed up”.

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