Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham LGBT row: Parkfield School protests resume

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Media captionParents protest again about LGBT teaching at Birmingham school

Protests over a primary school's teaching of LGBT rights have resumed amid claims the topic is still being discussed with pupils.

Parent rallies outside Parkfield Community School ended last week when teachers decided to stop lessons on homophobia indefinitely.

But on Thursday, about 250 parents and children protested at the school gates in Birmingham for the fourth time.

The BBC has asked the school for comment.

In the latest demonstration, organised by Parkfield Parents' Community Group, there have been calls for head teacher Hazel Pulley to resign, with demonstrators alleging she "cannot keep her word".

Protesters are concerned while formal lessons have stopped in the No Outsiders programme - which taught children about diversity and equality - discussions about same-sex relationships and LGBT issues are still happening.

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Image caption Protests have restarted at Parkfield for the fourth time

Messages on placards at the rally include "say no to undermining parental rights and authority".

Protester Fatima Shah said: "We still stand where we were before. We want No Outsiders to stop. Our children, our choice."

In previous rallies, protesters had branded the lessons "toxic", "aggressive indoctrination", age-inappropriate and incompatible with the teachings of Islam.

Parkfield, which has about 740 pupils aged three to 11, is not a faith school, but people representing multiple religions are reported to have taken part in protests.

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Media captionLead campaigner Amir Ahmed says morally, homosexuality is not "a valid sexual relationship".

On Tuesday, it emerged four other Birmingham schools had stopped teaching about LGBT rights following complaints by parents.

When Parkfield halted lessons, it said they would not resume until a resolution was reached with parents.

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Media captionLabour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle criticises "bigots that don't want LGBT people to be heard in schools"

In a letter sent to parents on Wednesday, the school said the row had damaged "both children's education and wider community relations" and it was forming a Parent School Reference Group (PSRG) to be led by an "independent facilitator".

"We are looking to evolve our equalities programme for pupils at Parkfield, in collaboration with parents, to include all the protected characteristics and meet the requirements of the Equalities Act," it said.

Ofsted ruled previously that Parkfield's lessons were age-appropriate.

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