London

London school abused over LGBT rainbow crossing

Rainbow crossing and highway workers Image copyright Woodside High School
Image caption The crossing, outside Woodside High School in Wood Green was installed to celebrate LGBT Month

A school in London claims it has received about 200 abusive messages after a rainbow-coloured crossing was installed outside its building.

It said the crossing was painted last week in celebration of LGBT History Month and has prompted some angry reactions on social media.

However, the school in Wood Green said that would not deter it from continuing its work on equality.

The crossing was funded by Haringey Council.

A spokeswoman for the school said the abusive messages were sent to the school on Twitter and Instagram, but were "not from parents or anyone connected with the school", adding that the school had been "overwhelmed with positive messages of support from parents, carers and [its] community".

Gerry Robinson, head of Woodside High School, on White Hart Lane, said: "This rainbow crossing stands for our commitment to championing equality, for our children's rights to be respected and able to thrive as themselves, in school and beyond.

"The hundreds of abusive messages regarding Woodside's work on equality will not deter us from continuing our work.

"In fact, it only encourages us further for we do not want our students to go out into the world and face such hate."

Image copyright Woodside High School
Image caption Gerry Robinson, head teacher of Woodside High School, said the school was committed to championing equality

She added: "Never has there been a more important time to stand up to hate in all its forms and education is a key part of that."

Haringey Councillor Seema Chandwani said Woodside had become the first school in England to install a rainbow crossing, and added the authority stood "in solidarity with them, and the LGBTQ+ community against discrimination and prejudice of any kind".

Woodside holds the Gold Award Stonewall School Champion title, awarded by charity stonewall to schools that celebrate diversity and work to tackle discrimination.

Head of education programmes at the charity Sidonie Bertrand-Shelton said two in five LGBT pupils were not taught anything about LGBT identities and 45% were bullied for being LGBT in Britain's schools.

"That's why it's fantastic to see such visible displays of support for equality, like the rainbow crossing at Woodside High School," she said.

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