Anti-LGBT equality teaching protesters have been permanently banned from standing outside a Birmingham primary school. The ban, issued by a High Court judge today, includes an exclusion zone surrounding Anderton Park Primary School, in Sparkhill, after staff endured months of demonstrations against them.
An interim ban had previously been granted in the same court during the summer, and was strongly opposed by the protesters. The injunction was made against three individuals identified as key organisers of the demonstrations; Shakeel Afsar and Amir Ahmed, and Rosina Afsar, as well as ‘persons unknown’
. Christian campaigner John Allman from Okehampton, Devon, had also opposed the legal bid, claiming it limited public protest. The demonstrations outside revolved around the school’s lessons on same-sex relationships, which parents claimed taught their children ‘it’s okay to be gay’. Mr Afsar, who has no children at the school, claimed staff had not properly consulted parents about relationships teaching.
A high court judge made the ruling today (Picture: PA) The school endured months of protests (Picture: PA) He had argued education material used was not age appropriate, and claimed the school was ‘over-emphasising a gay ethos’. But headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson refuted his claims that the protests were ‘peaceful’, describing them as ‘awful’, ‘toxic and nasty’. She told the judge that parents had had ‘numerous informal and formal chances to speak to us as a school’ about any concerns. Cross-dresser who bludgeoned fiance to death in the shower jailed for 17 years Describing a private meeting she had with Mr Afsar in her office, she continued: ‘He slammed his hand on my desk. He used the word “demand”. ‘It was volatile, it was aggressive.
I had never had a meeting like that before in 26 years of teaching. He set up a WhatsApp group that afternoon … trying to whip up a frenzy.’ Mr Justice Warby QC, handing down the permanent injunction at the High Court in Birmingham, said the protests had ‘a very significant adverse impact on the pupils, teachers and local residents’. Recalling claims made by protesters that the school had a ‘paedophile agenda’ and that staff were ‘teaching children how to masturbate’, he asserted:
‘None of this is true.’ Shakeel Afsar was named on the injunction (Picture: PA) Headteacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson refuted claims the protests were peaceful (Picture: PA) He added: ‘None of the defendants have suggested it was true and the council has proved it is not true.’
Imposing the injunction, he said: ‘The court finds on the balance of probabilities the defendants bear responsibility for the most extreme manifestations (of the protest).’ The injunction does not include an earlier ban on use of social media to abuse teaching staff.
Body found on flooded road week after deadly storms in Yorkshire This is the second school in Sparkhill that has seen protests over relationships education. Parkfield Community School was targeted due to Assistant Headteacher Andrew Moffatt’s ‘No Outsiders’ programme, which was being taught in classes.
The programme encourages children to learn about the characteristics protected by the Equality Act, such as religion and sexuality. In April the programme was suspended to consult parents and a revised version was introduced.