Sadiq Khan has written to every headteacher in London giving his full support to LGBT-inclusive education in schools.
The mayor of London is reiterating his backing for the teaching of all kinds of healthy relationships as protests against the inclusive teaching programme continue after the summer holidays.
The protests began at Birmingham’s Parkfield Primary School but the campaign is spreading, with leaflets claiming infants will be taught about masturbation recently distributed at one east London school.
In his letter to the headteachers, the mayor wrote: “Our schools must be places where all children feel safe and included, regardless of their gender identity and sexual orientation, or that of their families.
“Young people should be able to learn about healthy relationships of all kinds, and that includes LGBTQ relationships.
“I am proud to be mayor of a city that embraces differences and celebrates diversity. Bigotry, intolerance and discrimination have no place in London.
“This is why you have my total and full support as you equip students to make safe and informed decisions, show that LGBTQ relationships are part of everyday life, and ensure that all young Londoners can feel proud of who they are.”
The mayor congratulated schools on the fantastic job they are doing despite government cuts, and called on them to “continue breaking down gender stereotypes to help young Londoners reach their full potential”.
Khan has previously spoken out in support of LGBT inclusive relationships education and wrote to the education secretary in August to back the lessons.
School protests continue.
Demonstrations against the LGBT-inclusive ‘No Outsiders’ programme have been taking place outside of Birmingham schools since March. One school, Anderton Park Primary, was forced to close early due to safety concerns around a mass gathering.
The programme aims to teach children about the characteristics protected by the Equality Act, such as sexual orientation and religion, and will be compulsory in all schools by September 2020.
The protests against it have been marred by misinformation, with parents and religious leaders falsely claiming that the programme is not age appropriate and will encourage children to be gay.
In June a judge ruled to continue to ban protests from an exclusion zone surrounding the school. A further hearing on whether to maintain the injunction against protesters is expected to take place next month.
A fundraiser aiming to cover protesters’ legal fees was banned by GoFundMe this week as it violated the site’s terms of service. But the protest leader, Shakeel Afsar, said they would continue to fight whether or not they win their legal battle.
What small print KHAKKAN WAKE UP MAN. Even if we win the case or loose the case we will continue to protest u till it’s SHC and her vice head sitting alone holding hands x
— shakeel afsar (@shakeelafsar7) September 11, 2019