LONDON — Two 10-year-old children in the United Kingdom were reprimanded and suspended for five days over allegations that they had made “homophobic remarks” after expressing objection to a lesson for Pride Month.
According to the Christian Legal Centre, the incident took place on June 20 as a fifth grade teacher at Heavers Farm Primary School handed out a coloring sheet to his class.
“Sir, please, may I not take part in this lesson?” a boy named Farrell asked, according to a press release from the organization. The teacher advised that the lesson was a part of the curriculum and opting out was therefore not possible.
Farrell later told a visiting teacher that he does not “accept LGBT” because of his religious beliefs. He was sitting next to another student, Kaysey, who likewise objects to the lessons.
“Do you want them to die?” the teacher reportedly asked the two. They replied no.
Farrell advised, however, that if the two were to go back to their ancestral countries, homosexual behavior is not allowed there. The teacher then asked Farrell where he is from. He replied that he is of African Jamaican descent and “everybody is Christian and Catholic, so they don’t accept LGBT.”
When the head teacher, Susan Papas, learned of the matter, she allegedly became upset and shouted at the two in front of the class. Kaysey states that Papas also rebuked them privately by stating, “How dare you? You are a disappointment to the school.”
Kaysey says that she was put in a room where she was again confronted.
“How dare you say that you want to kill LGBT people?” she quotes Papas as stating.
“I didn’t say kill,” Kaysey replied.
“Yes, you did, and don’t lie,” Papas responded.
Kaysey, a Pentecostal, was placed in detention and suspended for five days. Farrell, a Roman Catholic, was also suspended, including over allegations that he said that “LGBT’s dumb,” which he denies.
The parents of both children, Karen Francis-Austin and Lisa Spence, have now contacted the Principal Officer for Exclusions Prevention to complain about how their children were treated, and point to suspension (exclusion) guidelines, which require the head teacher to “apply the civil standard of proof” that the students committed wrongdoing.
They also state that the punishment is disproportionate to the “age, maturity, religious and cultural background” of the children. The mothers have asked that their children be excused from any further lessons on homosexuality and transgenderism.
“I would further contend that the imposition on parents of divisive campaigning materials which run afoul of my family’s deeply held religious beliefs amounts to indoctrination both within the meaning of Protocol 1, Article 2 of the [European Convention of Human Rights] and Section 406-407 of the Education Act 1996, and is therefore wholly forbidden,” they wrote to Papas.
In speaking to the Christian Legal Centre about the matter, Kaysey said that she is concerned that such lessons make her generation confused about who they are.
“Before anyone knew what LGBT meant, everybody knew what gender they were. But now, people are confused and they’re saying that they’re bisexual and trans because they are confused, and people are trying to say that it’s okay,” she stated. “Before this happened, they were completely confident of who they were, but now they’re not.”
“You may not think it’s affecting other kids,” Kaysey lamented, “[but] it is because now they are losing confidence in themself and looking at themself and thinking, ‘Why am I this person? Why couldn’t I be someone else?’ … Some people by the age of four are saying, ‘I don’t want to be a girl anymore’ or ‘I don’t want to be a boy anymore,’ but that’s because schools or nurseries are trying to say to children that it’s okay to become something else that you’re not.”
Andrea Williams, who leads the Christian Legal Centre, said in a statement that parents in the UK are coming to the realization that schools are trying to force children to accept teaching on homosexuality and transgenderism, and will not permit dissent.
“This is why parents are beginning to see the dangers of the imposition of the new sexual and gender ideology that does not permit dissent even from innocent 10-year-old children,” she remarked. ““It is not the sign of a life-giving ideology being promoted in a school when it has to resort to such heavy-handed and cruel tactics on 10-year-old children to force them to accept something that, instinctively, they do not.”
As previously reported, another mother whose son formerly attended the school has taken legal action against Heavers Farm Primary School as her child was not permitted to opt out of a 2018 event in celebration of Pride Month.
Izzy Montague met with Papas, but felt that the odds were already stacked against her as the head teacher’s daughter, who was present, was wearing a t-shirt that read, “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic, when you could just be quiet?”
She states that after the meeting, the school treated her differently, barring her from the building when she arrived to discuss concerns about her child being placed in detention on two separate occasions.
Montague and her husband, Shane, then decided to remove their son from the school, and have now filed a legal complaint with the county court, alleging a breach of parental rights and harassment.