The number of hate crimes in schools and colleges in the county affected by protests against LGBT+ lessons has surged by more than 50 per cent in just one year, The Independent can reveal. The rise comes as one of the schools at the centre of a row over equality lessons has reported “homophobic” footage and far-right “Islamophobic” mail to the police.
The data, from freedom of information requests, has prompted calls for a stronger government response against the demonstrations to counteract a “worrying” rise in hate crime. Hate crime offences recorded by West Midlands police, involving children aged 17 and under in and near to schools and colleges, have risen by 52 per cent – from 44 in 2017-18 to 67 in 2018-19.
Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, head of Anderton Park School, which faced protests for nine weeks, believes the demonstrations at the Birmingham schools could have fuelled a rise in offences in the county. She told The Independent that the scale of the problem is likely to be even greater than the figures suggest as offensive incidents that occurred outside the school could not be listed as hate crimes.