TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The Guardian newspaper said more parents had withdrawn their children from schools in Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city, where schools have insisted on going ahead with a program to teach pupils lessons on sexually-odd people.
It said staff at Anderton Park primary school were forced to send the students home after protests escalated outside the school on Friday.
Some reports earlier this week suggested that some 600 of the school’s 700 pupils were withdrawn by parents over the issue although school officials denied the claims and said only half the students had not turned out in the classes.
UK government officials and members of parliament have remained mostly silent about the escalating protests. Some have even tried to depict the protesters as extremists who have an agenda to prevent certain freedoms in the British society.
Jess Phillips, a parliament member representing a Birmingham area, said parents protesting outside schools in the city should be banned from a certain perimeter of the education properties.
“They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the schools. These are people with a religious extremist agenda. They are holding schools under siege,” she said.
However, parents, scores of them non-Muslims, have continued to hold demonstrations outside schools in Birmingham, Manchester, Blackpool, Preston, Bradford and Liverpool. Popular chants heard during the protests are “Let kids be kids,” and “Our kids, our choice” while parents carry banners and placards with various signs reminding the lessons are immoral.
“This is about morality. We have our own religious beliefs and they need to be respected,” said Shebby Gujjar Khan, a leading campaigner for banning the lessons in schools in Manchester.