Protests over same sex teachings are banned

A High Court judge has ruled that an injunction preventing anti-LGBT equality teaching protests from taking place outside a primary school in Birmingham will be made permanent. The ban includes an exclusion zone surrounding the city's Anderton Park Primary School.

The injunction was made against three individuals - the protest's main organisers Shakeel Afsar and Amir Ahmed, and parent Rosina Afsar, as well as "persons unknown".

Mr Afsar claimed the weekly demonstrations, held just yards from classrooms and featuring megaphones and a sound-boosting PA system, were "peaceful". He claimed protests were only triggered because the headteacher had not properly consulted parents about relationships teaching.

Afsar further argued that education material used was not age appropriate, and claimed the school was "over-emphasising a gay ethos".

Headteacher Mrs Hewitt-Clarkson rejected the claims, saying the material was appropriate and great care had been taken in how children were taught about different relationships. She also told the judge, giving evidence at the injunction's trial, that parents had had "numerous informal and formal chances to speak to us as a school" about any concerns.Mr Justice Warby QC, handing down the permanent injunction at the High Court in Birmingham, said the protests had "a very significant adverse impact on the pupils, teachers and local residents".

Recounting claims made by speakers at the protests, including one that the school had a "paedophile agenda" and that staff were "teaching children how to masturbate", the judge said: "None of this is true."

He added: "None of the defendants have suggested it was true and the council has proved it is not true."

Imposing the injunction, he said: "The court finds on the balance of probabilities the defendants bear responsibility for the most extreme manifestations (of the protest)."

The injunction does not include an earlier ban on use of social media to abuse teaching staff.

What’s the row?

Since March 2019 campaigners including parents have been protesting over the teaching of same-sex relationships at Anderton Park Primary school in Balsall Heath.

They argue that 4 and 5-year olds are too young to learn about same-sex relationships, saying they want to be consulted and want their religious views to be taken into account.

The majority of the children at the school are Muslim and some argue that teaching children that it’s OK to be gay is against their religion.

Anderton Park Primary School Headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson Credit: ITV News Central

What are the school teaching?

Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson who is the headteacher at Anderton Park Primary School, has said she doesn’t run a specific programme on equality, but elements of the Equality Act are weaved into the daily education of children.

Picture books including “And Tango Makes Three” are used in teachings Credit: ITV News Central

Picture books are used to teach different aspects of equality, including the fact that some children have two mummies or two daddies.

The books the school use include:

  • And Tango Makes Three – a story about two male penguins who raise a baby penguin together

  • A Princess Boy – story about a boy who likes to wear a dress.

  • And Mommy, Mamma and Me – a story about two women raising a child together.

Some parents and campaigners have said these books are promoting a homosexual and transgender lifestyle which is indoctrinating their children.

They want the school to stop using these books and enter a consultation with parents.

Protest scenes outside the school Credit: ITV News Central


In May a 300-strong protest outside the school forced it to close early. Following this Birmingham City Council won an interim injunction to stop any protests from taking place directly outside the school gates.

The injunction also prevented the printing and distribution of leaflets and posting any negative comments on social media.

It also named three people -Shakeel Afsar, his sister Rosina Afsar and Amir Ahmed who were banned from going near the school.

Shakeel Afsar is the lead campaigner. He doesn’t have any children at the school but says he is the chosen spokesperson for the parents. Rosina Afsar did have two children at the school but has since taken one out and is looking to remove the other. Amir Ahmed doesn’t have any children at the school.

Birmingham City Council logo image Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Archive/PA Images

The hearing

During a five-day hearing in October, Birmingham City Council lawyers called for the injunction to be made permanent and extended.

Video evidence was shown in court of Imam Mullah Bahm from Batley in Yorkshire claiming “there are paedophiles in the school” to a large crowd at a protest in May.

The Imam also claimed that anal sex and transgenderism is being taught in the school, the court heard.

Other evidence shown in court included footage of a woman from Nottingham during a protest in October claiming that schools are teaching children masturbation and fornication.

Footage taken by the Deputy Headteacher Claire Evans was also shown in court – it showed that the noise from the protests could be heard in the nursery and the playground.

Andrew Moffatt, Assistant Headteacher at Parkfield Community School in Sparkhill Credit: ITV News Central

This is the second school in the city that has seen protests over relationships education. Parkfield Community School in Sparkhill was the focus of protests over a programme called “No Outsiders” which had been created by the Assistant Headteacher Andrew Moffatt.

In April the programme was suspended to consult parents and a revised version was introduced called no outsiders for the faith community.

Relationships Education will be compulsory in all schools from September next year.

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