Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham LGBT school row: Protest parents 'manipulated'

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Media captionNazir Afzal says some material distributed to parents contains falsehoods

The man mediating a row over LGBT teaching at a Birmingham primary school said parents were being "manipulated."

Nazir Afzal said some protesting at Anderton Park Primary School had fallen foul of those who "wrongly and maliciously" claim the school is teaching pupils about homosexuality.

The curriculum had "no reference to gay sex" and some were "hijacking the dispute for their own ends", he said.

Parents said the school was not listening to their concerns.

Image caption Hundreds of protesters joined the latest action at Anderton park Primary School

Mr Afzal, former chief prosecutor for the north-west of England, was asked to mediate the matter by the city council and parents.

He said that after meeting with parents over what he thought was a "fixable misunderstanding", he "watched some people on both sides try to hijack the dispute for their own ends".

"I am however most concerned by those manipulating the parents in this matter," he said in a video posted to his website.

"I have seen them walking around with materials and documents which they have pulled off the internet which they wrongly and maliciously say the school is teaching.

"I have examined the curriculum myself and there is no specific LGBT content, no reference to gay sex, none at all - there is reference, as there should be, to equality."

Contradicted Islam

In recent weeks, children have been removed from classes and teachers have been threatened.

The protests spread to Anderton Park from Parkfield Community School in Alum Rock, where parents raised a petition in January claiming some of the teaching contradicted Islam.

The "No Outsiders" scheme, created by one of its teachers Andrew Moffatt, had been running at Parkfield since 2014.

It was formed to educate children about the Equality Act, British values and diversity using storybooks to teach children about LGBT relationships, race, religion, adoption and disability.

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