Following recent complaints and reaction from angry parents regarding LGBTQ+ inclusive lessons being taught in schools, the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has released a statement.
“I believe in inclusive comprehensive education that encourages young people to see life from all sides and celebrate what we have in common, and our diversity,” Burnham said in a statement released today.
“It is right that children learn about all kinds of relationships and the equality of every relationship. This supports LGBT young people, teachers and parents and helps to build strong, cohesive and united communities.
“I welcome the leadership LGBT Foundation and others have shown on this issue and want to assure our LGBT communities that we stand with you.”
The backing-down from school leaders could have deeper impacts on the LGBTQ+ community going forward
Ben Colliver, criminologist and gender researcher at Birmingham City University, recently told QWEERIST that the withdrawal of these lessons could have “serious implications for children in education” and could lead to increased homophobia.
Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, said in an open letter that “school should be a place where young people are able to grow and learn about themselves and others. It is a place where every child should feel they have a right to exist, love and be loved.
“Not teaching children about being LGBT will not change young peoples’ sexual orientation or gender identity. What it may mean is that young LGBT people aren’t able to come out, or create confusion and shame about their identity.”
Martin also cited how the impacts of previous legislation and discriminatory standpoints can still be seen today. Recent research suggesting that many teachers raised in the Section 28 era still feel uncomfortable coming out about their sexuality.
Martin added: “In an uncertain time for European and global politics, we must draw on and embrace the values that unite us, not divide us.”