LGBT schools row headteacher on victory that 'cost a lot of us huge emotional damage'


The headteacher at the centre of the LGBT schools row in 2019 has shared her story about how she took on anti-LGBT protesters at the school gates.She managed to secure a high court injunction after months of hard work which meant the protesters were officially moved on.

As a public servant, I do have to - and it's right - that I have to promote equality. Not just the bits that are comfortable for people, it's not just the religious bits, or the race bits, but all of the bits. And sexual orientation is one of those bits.

Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, Headteacher at Anderton Park School

Protests began outside her school in Balsall Heath early last year, with protesters arguing that education material used was not age appropriate. Some also claimed the school was "over-emphasising a gay ethos".

Mrs Hewitt-Clarkson describes the 'horrific' time when the protests began at another school and moved to hers 'almost overnight.' She says the majority of the protesters didn't have children at her school.

These protesters shouted on megaphones and had signs calling for her resignation.

Parents, children and protestors demonstrated against the lessons about LGBT rights in March 2019. Credit: PA, Aaron Chown

She also details how 'unbelievable' the staff and lots of the families were in supporting her throughout the period.

In the interview, Mrs Hewitt-Clarkson emotionally details how tough the row was on her own family. Particularly as one of her daughters was completing her GCSE's at the time. She said it 'cost a lot of us huge emotional damage.'

She remembers her daughter noting that the day she won the court case and they went to the cinema: 'it was like having Mummy back.'

Mrs Hewitt-Clarkson speaking to the media after winning the High Court case in November 2019 Credit: PA, Jacob King

Watch more from our 'My Britain' series:

How the RSPCA's first female Asian officer overcame cultural barriers and stereotypes to realise her dream

'Every day was just a chance to prove myself' - Joshua Williams' amazing story of perseverance

The swimmer with a life-changing injury set to captain Team UK at Invictus Games