Birmingham Pride Parade Lead By 'No Outsiders' Teacher
26 May 2019, 06:14 | Updated: 26 May 2019, 06:16
A teacher whose lesson programme covering LGBTQ+ relationships has been at the centre of recent protests has lead the Birmingham Pride parade.
Andrew Moffat, assistant headteacher at Parkfield Community School, has been teaching No Outsiders classes at the school since 2014.
Mr Moffat was joined at the front of the parade by Khakan Qureshi, founder of Birmingham South Asians LGBT, and Saima Razzaq, from Supporting Education of Equality and Diversity in Schools (Seeds).
Pride organisers said there was "no-one better" to lead the parade.
No Outsiders classes aim to educate children about the Equality Act, British values, and diversity, using storybooks to teach about LGBTQ+ relationships, race, religion, adoption and disability.
Some parents with children at the school raised a petition against the classes in January, which have led to protests at the school and the classes to be suspended.
The protests have since spread to Anderton Park Primary in Birmingham, with a protest held on Friday outside the school thought to be the biggest so far.
This year's theme for Birmingham Pride is Love Out Loud. Organisers say this is a "celebration of our right to love, no matter our gender, sexuality, personal identity, colour, religion or race".
Saima Razzaq of Seeds, an LGBTQ+ group set up following the protests against No Outsiders, is also leading the parade.
She said on Twitter: "I don't want anyone to grow up in shame. I don't want anyone to be forced to choose between their community, their faith or their family to simply be themselves."
Speaking about the protests against his lessons, Mr Moffat said: "I have had maybe eight nasty messages. I have had literally six hundred from across the country saying this work is important.
"In Britain today, schools have got to find a way to tackle that rise in hate... We can't ignore this."