Christian mum, Izzy Montague, went to her child’s primary school to raise concerns that her five-year-old son had been asked to take part in a ‘gay pride’ march, but was confronted with a member staff wearing an insulting T-shirt.
The T-shirt carried the slogan, ‘Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic when you could just be quiet?’. Mrs Montague has since removed her five-year-old son from the school.
She is taking legal action against the school, claiming victimisation. She is being backed by the Christian Legal Centre.
Mrs Montague told the Mail on Sunday, ‘Given the nature of my complaints it was obviously a deliberate act to wear the T-shirt. I believe it was intended to belittle my views and intimidate me into silence.’
But the school, Heavers Farm Primary in South-East London, denies her claims, saying the choice of T-shirt worn at the meeting by Attie Copeman-Papas, the school’s deputy safeguarding manager, was entirely coincidental and no offence was intended.
The dispute began when Mrs Montague asked for her Christian beliefs to be respected, and for her son not to be included in a ‘gay pride’ march being organised by the school.
She says the school refused her request. She said, ‘I thought this was completely unreasonable. Schools are supposed to be tolerant of different faiths as well as different sexualities’.
She added, ‘Our children were being indoctrinated with values that they do not need to be taught at such a young age.’ So, Mrs Montague decided to keep her child at home on the day of the event.
Mrs Montague requested a meeting with the school’s headteacher, Susan Papas, in September. It was at this meeting, which was also attended by the deputy head, that Ms Copeman-Papas, who is the head teacher’s daughter, wore the controversial T-shirt.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said, ‘A particular agenda is being forced on to children inside school gates and parents are being given no means to ensure that they are being taught in line with their religious and philosophical beliefs.’