A school at the centre of a row over sex education has been forced to cancel its community Christmas fair – after it was targeted by members of the British National Party.
Grenoside Primary School in Sheffield is in the middle of consultation with parents over extending its sex education classes to younger pupils. The idea has caused concern to some parents.
The dispute was seized upon by the BNP after The Star’s original story was picked up by the national media. BNP members staged a demonstration outside the school, calling on staff and governors to drop their plans and then leafleting parents. The extreme right wing party then issued an ultimatum to the headteacher and chair of governors to change their policies in the next two weeks or face further action.
Headteacher Colin Fleetwood said the situation had spiraled out of control.
“It is incredibly disappointing and upsetting the BNP has chosen to interfere in our consultation process on sex and relationship education in this way,” he said. “Their actions are deplorable and the disruption they have made to the school’s consultation process is completely out of order. There is nothing we are doing here which warrants this. Parents don’t want them here and the school certainly doesn’t.”
Police were called after the demonstration and maintained a presence at the school for two days.
Mr Fleetwood said consultations would continue.
“In view of the current atmosphere we have decided it is sensible not to hold certain school events that would give these undesirable elements an opportunity for further demonstrations,” he said. “We don’t want the BNP anywhere near our school, so we have decided to cancel our annual community school fair. Instead we will hold an internal event just for parents and children.”
One mum said the BNP had intimidated staff, children and parents.
“Their actions have now resulted in ruining a special part of Christmas for local families,” she added.
Thanks to Zaahid for the heads-up