Mum suing son’s primary school over Pride parade says headteacher is ‘Christian-phobic’
Christian mum Izzy Montague, who launched legal action against her son’s school after her child’s school held a Pride event, has accused its headteacher of being “Christian-phobic” and of bullying.
On the first day of an expected eight-day case Montague slammed Heavers Farm Primary School and its headteacher, Susan Papas, for holding a Pride event in 2018.
Following the June Pride Month event Montague called for Papas’ resignation and in court today (2 February) said: “I believe anyone who decided that children should march for LGBT should not be a head of a primary school.”
The south east London school held the event to celebrate “the diversity of our whole school community and tackling bullying,” the court heard.
Montague accused Papas of supporting the “idea children should march for LGBT.”
Ian Clarke, representing the school, told the court Montague had contacted the press using a false name before making a complaining to the school.
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The 38-year-old, who is a supported in her legal action by conservative organisation Christian Concern, argued that her child had been “excluded” – despite being not being stopped from attending school.
Montague argused: “But if he came to school he would have had to march”.
“The reason I used a [fake name] was because I didn’t want to be intimated or abused,” she added.
Headteacher accused of ‘bullying’
Clarke then showed the court an email sent by Montague to the school on 13 July, which she acknowledged “could be viewed or seen as an uncomfortable read and not very pleasant to Susan Papas”.
In the letter Montague accuses Papas of being a “bully and head of a corrupt organisation”.
Montague attempted to back up her accusation, and said: “My view is forcing someone to follow something against their wishes, I think that is bullying.”
Clarke questioned: “You say Ms Papas comments are Christian-phobic, but you don’t give any examples, do you?”
The mother responded: “My idea of saying [she] was Christian-phobic was [in regard to saying] anything that was a mere disagreement of gay lifestyles was homophobic.
“All I’ve stated is my child they can’t attend because they are Christian, this somehow defines they are not adhering to laws or being diverse, that in my view is Christian-phobic.”
Clarke went on to confirm the parade aimed to show children that people have different families and that is accepted in society, he added: “That message has nothing to do with gay sex, does it?,” to which Montague responded, “no”.
The barrister asked Montague what she disagrees with in her understanding of Pride, and she responded by touching on the sexual liberation, noting that in her faith “we don’t go round having sex whenever we want with whoever we want”.
In court earlier, Montague referred to being LGBTQ+ as “sexual lifestyles” and said in relation to Pride month: “A month that celebrates sexual lifestyles is a problem in any month.”
Montague first launched her lawsuit against the school in 2019, alleging direct and indirect discrimination, victimisation and breaches of statutory duties under the 1996 Education Act 1996 and the 1998 Human Rights Act.
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