Maths, science, English, languages, P.E, R.E, art. All subjects expected to be seen on the average child’s timetable when they attend school. So why has adding LGBTQ+ topics to the curriculum become such an issue in the past week?
Parkfield Community School in Birmingham chose to add an LGBTQ+ orientated lesson called ‘No Outsiders’ to their curriculum in order to combat homophobia in schools. But parents did not take too kindly to it, many removing their children from school until the lessons were cut.
LGBTQ+ support network, Stonewall believe it to be crucial that children are taught about homosexuality from a young age to allow them to become more excepting in later life. They themselves empower teachers to train their colleagues in LGBTQ+ inclusion.
Parents in Staffordshire took to Facebook to express their views on the matter many holding views such as “why would learning about LGBT be a problem so long as its age appropriate as that would be the only case.” While others sided with the Birmingham parent’s decision saying: “I agree with the parents, let the little children enjoy their innocence!”
Cheddleton parent, Lisa Salt felt very strongly that the ‘No Outsiders’ lessons should be taught as part of the curriculum, saying: “Having seen some of the lesson plans it is clear that they are only promoting dialogue within the classroom on any topic that falls under the umbrella of equality and diversity. Regarding LGBT+ specifically this is a strand of society which, alongside many others, children will at some point encounter and it should never be too early to teach tolerance and acceptance of differences.”
The age at which children are being introduced to the idea of homosexuality appears to be the main issue facing the parents of children who attend Parkfield Primary.
But it must be made clear that having these lessons taught in schools could, in fact, save lives. Many young people find it hard to come out through either fear of not being excepted or through lack of information available.
LGBTQ+ network member, Damian Lomas from Staffordshire University is very much on the fence regarding the age at which children should be taught about homosexuality. He said: “For myself, I didn’t know what being gay was until I was 14 and actually questioning my own sexuality.
“I think it’s a case that these parents have a lack of education about what being LGBTQ+ means. If our children or anyone want to learn about something, we shouldn’t deprive them of that.
“We already have those lessons out there it’s just a case of these teachers, all they want to do is elaborate on what’s been told and making sure that its factual because even media has stereotypes.”
Teaching LGBTQ+ lessons in class can hold a great importance. Creating a greater understanding for those who are under informed. While creating a sense of security for those maybe struggling with their own problems surrounding the topic.
“I think the sooner people learn about what being LGBTQ+ is the better, because when I came out, I received a lot of homophobic abuse from people the same age as me,” he added.
“Even though people understood what being gay was everyone thought it was stereotype even my own grandad thought I was going to, pardon the expression, be a very flamboyant person wearing dresses, he thought that’s what being gay was.”
The Birmingham school has, in the last two days, decided to resume its ‘No Outsiders,’ all-inclusive equality lessons regardless of the protests in action; sign of resilience from the school and staff.
“While we are put on this earth to continue the legacy of people why can’t people just love who they love why cant the purpose of life be to be happy” -Damian Lomas.
For further information regarding any LGBTQ+ issues visit the Stonewall website.