Christian mother accuses school of forcing child to participate in gay pride event

(Photo: Unsplash/Sharon McCutcheon)

A Christian mother has claimed that a London school forced her son to take part in a gay pride event.

Izoduwa Adhedo says Heavers Farm Primary School in South East London did not give her the option of withdrawing her son from the event despite her complaints.

According to the Guardian newspaper, the school hosted a 'Proud to Be Me' event in which children were encouraged to march with banners telling other pupils what they were proud of about themselves. The school denies that it was a gay pride event.

Mrs Adhedo, who is being supported by The Christian Legal Centre, the legal arm of campaign group Christian Concern, was meeting representatives of the school on Tuesday to voice her complaints.

In a statement, she said she opposed her son's participation in the event because she felt it contradicted her Christian beliefs.

She says that her complaints were dismissed by the school and that it did not take her safeguarding concerns seriously.

She further alleges that the school became 'antagonistic' towards her and that other parents who shared her views were 'afraid to speak up because of how the school has treated me'.

'I wasn't even trying to stop the Pride event,' she said. 'I just wanted my child to receive an education, rather than indoctrination.'

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, accused the school of a 'chilling' breach of parental rights and of treating the parents with 'hostility'.

'In another example of 'totalitolerance', those who preach tolerance and diversity the loudest do not appear to be interested in practising it,' she said.

She added, 'A particular agenda is being forced onto children inside the school gates and parents are being given no means to ensure that their children are being taught in line with their religious and philosophical beliefs.'

Susan Papas, the headteacher, has denied any wrongdoing and defended the school's actions in comments to the Guardian: 'Equality is a thread that goes through our curriculum. We've done projects on black history month, disability and women's history.

'At the end of the year we decided to do something on anti-homophobia as part of Pride month, taking the idea that people and families can be different but everyone can be proud. There were some objections but they were outweighed by support.'