Louis Staples primarily works between The Independent’s sister site indy100 and comment section Independent Voices. While his writing interests are varied, his specialist areas are LGBT+ issues, politics and culture.
The dispute over LGBT+ lessons in primary schools has continued to gather pace this week. Following protests by parents at Parkfield Primary School in Birmingham, four more schools in the city have stopped teaching lessons about diversity and LGBT+ issues due to parental complaints. Leigh Trust school has said it will also be suspending the No Outsiders project, which teaches tolerance of diverse groups.
To be clear, the No Outsiders project has nothing to do with sex education, it merely informs children of the existence of LGBT+ people. As part of this project, pupils are taught about the positive values of diversity, tolerance and acceptance, in a wide-ranging curriculum encompassing LGBT+ rights, same-sex relationships, gender identity, race and religion. Ofsted inspectors have deemed the lessons “age-appropriate”.
Tensions were escalated by an intervention from local Labour MP Shabana Mahmood, who appeared to side with parents opposing the lessons. This prompted a hailstorm of interventions from other MPs, including neighbouring Labour MP Jess Phillips, who supported the LGBT+ lessons. A minority of local residents then took to the streets, reportedly chanting that homosexuality was unnatural. Leaflets were distributed discussing the sexuality of assistant headteacher Andrew Moffat, who co-authored the No Outsiders project. Read more via Independent