Primary school faces far-right abuse over LGBT-inclusive lessons
A primary school is facing anger online after its LGBT-inclusive lessons were broadcasted in a BBC local news video.
In the video, pupils at the Bewsey Lodge primary school in Warrington take part in an English lesson that included discussing the idea of marriage—reading a story about a fictional ‘Prince Henry’ who wants to get married to his partner Thomas.
Pupils are then set a letter-writing exercise as Prince Henry, telling Thomas “why it’s a brilliant idea for him to marry you.”
The video prompted a number of anti-LGBT outlets, including Lifesite News, InfoWars and Breitbart, to unleash a wave of fury against the school, which was recognised for its LGBT-inclusive education with an award from the charity Educate and Celebrate in July.
Reports shared widely by far-right users online claimed that the school was “forcing” children to write gay love letters, which commenters slammed as “child abuse” and “paedophilia.”
Breitbart described the school as a “Death Camp of Tolerance”, while UKIP politician David Kurten, who has previously claimed homosexuality is the result of childhood sexual abuse, claimed the “blanket indoctrination of children into LGBT ideology is grossly inappropriate.”
The video shared by the BBC on Facebook has also been barraged with abusive and homophobic comments.
Bewsey Lodge head Emma Wright responded to the vitriol in the comments below the video: “I don’t normally comment on social media however I feel compelled to share some thoughts. It is interesting to read how many people have sexualised the content of our curriculum.
“What we are trying to achieve is a culture of acceptance and respect—put simply, live and let live.
“We teach about love and that love comes in all shapes and sizes. What we are trying to achieve is that children leave us, armed with enough information to make their own informed choices, children who can look at another persons life/situation and say, ‘This is different to my life or the way I feel or think but that’s ok.’
“We also teach about racism, extremism and religion and the same philosophy filters through it all.”
She added: “I would challenge anyone who doubts the power of what we are trying to do around LGBT+ to come and talk to some of our little people.
“They could tell you about respect and how, if you want to wear a skirt for school and you’re a boy, it’s fine, if you have 2 mums or 2 dads as long as you’re loved it’s cool and there’s no such thing as boy’s and girl’s stuff it’s just – whatever!
“This is not about sex it’s about love and understanding that the world is a big place full of lots of different people who may look different to you, believe in different things to you and feel differently about love and relationships to you but as long as it doesn’t hurt you or stop you from being who you are, then it’s OK.”
Wright added: “We are taking some of the comments and plan to discuss them in our philosophy sessions with [Year] 5/6.”
Other Facebook users defended the school.
One comment read: “Why is it OK for Primary School children to read books about princes and princesses but not about princes and princes or princesses and princesses?
“We need to make this normal now so that future generations will learn that it’s ok to be themselves. They’re learning about love and isn’t that nice?
“Anyway I’m really happy that the old views of a bygone era are being drowned out by the resonating positivity of the future. Sorry homophobes but the future isn’t yours!”
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