A group of angry mothers have launched a petition and a protest at a Birmingham based school for introducing a curriculum supporting homosexuality.
Assistant headteacher, Andrew Moffat MBE, at the Parkfield Community School in Saltley has been criticised by parents of children at the school for introducing a programme that promotes LGBT equality and challenges homophobia in primary schools.
The program means that books at the school will not only include conventional stories like mommy and daddy but also daddy and daddy and Mommy, Mama and Me amongst other stories promoting same-sex relationships.
But angry parents of children at the school, which is a majority muslim school, have blasted the move as homosexuality is strictly forbidden in Islam.
Mr Moffat, who himself is openly gay, has defended the move saying: “No Outsiders allows us to raise awareness of these differences so that children are able to tolerate and accept differences in our society.”
But one angry parent, who has now removed her 10-year-old daughter from the school, told BirminghamLive website: “It’s inappropriate, totally wrong.
“Children are being told it’s OK to be gay yet 98 per cent of children at this school are Muslim. It’s a Muslim community.
“I’ve taken my daughter out and other parents have too. Enough is enough.
“Sex relationship education is being taught without our consent. We’ve not been informed about what’s being taught.
“Mr Moffat is running what’s called CHIPS – challenging homophobia in primary schools – and it’s totally against Islamic beliefs.
“My child came home and told me am I OK to be a boy? It’s confusing children about sexuality.
“I want my child to learn about English, maths and science.
“I’m keeping my daughter away from the school until something is done. I’ve been paying £20-an-hour tuition at home instead.”
Although Ms Shah is against LGBT equality being taught to children, she still supports the rights of of gay people, saying: “gay people should be treated with mutual respect”.
Speaking alongside other Muslim parents outside the school gates, the mum-of-three added: “We believe in fundamental British values and believe gay people should be treated with mutual respect and without prejudice or discrimination just like any other human being.
“We respect the Equality Act and believe it can be implemented without the promotion of homosexuality.
“Children have a naive and innocent picture of sexual relationships.
“At this age it is inappropriate to teach them what is a gay or straight relationship.
“The school knew the local community and parents have a different set of family values and morals, and were opposed to an LGBT agenda that says being gay is OK.
“Our community ethos was not respected. We feel betrayed by the school.”
Another mother who spoke to BirminghamLive outside Parkfield Community School said: “There’s no need. This place is different, it’s a 90 per cent Muslim school.
“There’s books on the curriculum like Mommy, Mama and Me which promotes same-sex marriage and being lesbian. Just why is this needed?”
Mr Moffat, who used to work at the Chilwell Croft Academy in Newtown in 2014, resigned from his role at that school following a backlash from parents after coming out during school assembly.
“It seemed like the right time to let the children know that they knew a gay person,” he said previously.
“Following my coming out, some parents from different communities complained to the school, but I maintain that my decision was the right one at that time.
“Some Christian and some Muslim parents have told me they don’t want their children learning that it’s OK to be gay.”
In a response to BirminghamLive the school defended its move to add LGBT awareness into their curriculum , the school said: “The No Outsiders programme teaches children that everyone is welcome.
“It was created in 2014 by Andrew Moffat, assistant head at Parkfield Community School, and piloted at the school.
“Ninety-eight per cent of the children at Parkfield practice the Islamic faith and initially this presented tension within some aspects of No Outsiders, specifically the acceptance of LGBT equality.
“In the last four years the No Outsiders ethos has blossomed as an integral part of the school. An outstanding Ofsted report in 2016 recognised No Outsiders as a key strength of the school.