Primary school’s Pride event forced to be held in private

Heavers Farm Primary in South Norwood was forced to hold a Pride event in private last Friday, after a group of parents threatened to protest at a playground parade, the Evening Gideon has reported.

MP Steve Reed OBE’s picture of Heavers Farm Primary’s entrance last week

The “Proud to be Me!” parade was attended by the local MP, Steve Reed OBE.

Parents of pupils at the school had been invited to attend, the school’s letter saying that they could join in celebrating “the rainbow of things that make them and their family special”.

But the decision to withdraw the invitations came when the headteacher received warnings a group of parents planned to hold a protest.

Susan Papas is the head of the school on Dinsdale Gardens which teaches children aged from three to 11. She told the Standard: “We thought we would celebrate Pride month so those children from LGBT families would feel included and to show the kids that children come from different families.

“But some parents aren’t happy with the term LGBT and don’t want their children knowing about these terms or what they mean.

“We have had so many messages of support from many parents who are quite cross about this minority who they feel are spreading hateful messages.”

MP Steve Reed OBE at Heavers Farm’s Pride event last Friday

The newspaper reports that several parents opted to take their children out of school for the day.

After the event, Reed tweeted, “With the wonderful staff and children at Heavers Farm for their Pride celebration — very proud of them for standing up for equality and diversity.”

And later, Reed added: “They were just learning to be proud of whoever they are. There are LGBT parents with kids at the school and they deserve respect, too.”

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