• Jules Gomes


A primary school headteacher, who forced children to participate in a “Gay Pride” parade last year, has been reported to the local authority for unlawfully suspending 10-year-olds based on alleged anti-LGBT comments.

Susan Papas, head of Heavers Farmer Primary School, Croydon, South London, suspended two children for five days after one of them asked a teacher for permission not to participate in an LGBT lesson during “Gay Pride Month.”

“This is why parents are beginning to see the dangers of the imposition of the new sexual and gender ideology that does not permit dissent even from innocent ten-year-old children,” Andrea Minichiello Williams, executive director of the Christian Legal Centre told Church Militant.

On June 20, Farrell, sitting next to his friend Kaysey, asked his Year 5 teacher: “Sir, please may I not take part in this lesson?” when the teacher handed out LGBT material for colouring. The teacher refused permission saying that the LGBT lesson was part of the curriculum.

When bullies know that right is not on their side they resort to coercion and intimidation.

After class, the form teacher Alex Smith is said to have accused Farrell of using “homophobic language” and saying, “LGBT sucks and LGBT’s dumb.” The child categorically denies using any such language.

Farrell, who was sitting with classmate Kaysey, says he is a Catholic and told another teacher he did not “accept LGBT” because of his religion.

The teacher asked the two children, “Do you want LGBT people to die?” “We said no,” Farrell replied. If, however, they went back to their countries, they would be punished for being gay.

The teacher asked Farrell where he was from. Farrell said he was of “African Jamaican” heritage, and because there “everybody is Christian and Catholic, so they don’t accept LGBT.”

Later, headteacher Papas shouted at the two children: “How dare you? You are a disappointment to the school.” Papas then put the children in different rooms and asked Kaysey: “How dare you say that you want to kill LGBT people?”

Kaysey replied: “I didn’t say kill.” Papas then shouted at her and said, “Yes, you did, and don’t lie.” Kaysey, a Pentecostal, says she was kept in detention from 10 am to 3 pm.

Kaysey also pointed out that Papas’ daughter, School Manager and Deputy Safeguarding Officer Attie Copeman-Papas, was a lesbian and Assistant Headteacher Robert Askey was gay.

Farrell’s mother Lisa Spence and Kaysey’s mother Karen Francis have complained to the Principal Officer—Exclusions Prevention of the local authority citing paragraph 13 of the statutory Exclusions Guidance (2017): “It is unlawful to exclude [i.e. suspend] for a non-disciplinary reason.”

Both parents insist their children did not make homophobic comments. They quote paragraph 8 of the Exclusions Guidance: “When establishing the facts in relation to an exclusion decision the head teacher must apply the civil standard of proof; i.e. ‘on the balance of probabilities’ it is more likely than not that a fact is true, rather than the criminal standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt.’”

The parents also point out that “the imposition of a 5-day exclusion [i.e. suspension] lacks both the necessary proportionality and fairness (para. 6 of the Guidance) required to justify such a lengthy punishment” given the “age, maturity, religious and cultural background” of their children.

They have also accused the headteacher of failing “to eliminate discrimination based on religion or belief,” as laid down by Britain’s Equality Act 2010.

The parents cite Section 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights insisting that Protocol 1, Article 2 creates a statutory obligation on the school to respect the manner in which the parents seek to raise their children in accordance with their Christian faith.

There were rainbow flags around the school, and the kids were even told to wear bright colours. That’s not having pride in yourself, that is blatant support for LGBT.

The parents have asked that their children “be excused from any further teaching or activities which involve the promotion of LGBT campaigning points.”

This isn’t the first time Papas’ militant promotion of the LGBT agenda has roused the ire of parents at the school which educates 750 pupils in a highly multicultural and multi-religious borough of London.

In June 2018, parents threatened to protest at a “Gay Pride” parade organised by the school in its playground.

Papas had invited parents to watch the “Proud to be Me!” parade and join in celebrating “the rainbow of things that make them and their family special.”

Fourteen Christian parents complained that Papas was “forcing a very aggressive LGBT agenda on to young children in a manner which abuses parental rights and victimises parents.”

Christian mother, Izoduwa Montague, refused to allow her four-year-old son to take part in the parade and complained to Education Secretary Damian Hinds that the school had embarked on “systematic proselytism of its young and vulnerable pupils.”

Lawyers from the Christian Legal Centre argued on Montague’s behalf that the school made “LGBT matters a pervasive element of school life,” including the school’s website featuring a Year-1 pupil with a placard that she had written after a lesson about Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech: “I have a dreem if bois cood go to the saim toilet as gerls.” (sic)

Montague says she felt “bullied” after she complained about her child “being forced to take part in an event that goes against our Christian beliefs.” She later transferred her child to a Catholic school.

Parents were further outraged when Attie Papas, the head’s lesbian daughter wore a T-shirt with the words: “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic, when you can just be quiet?” when meeting with them.

Attie Papas is a graduate student of Sports Sociology and Feminist Theory. Her papers include “A Feminist Psychoanalytic Approach to the Roles of the Penis, the Phallus and Hegemonic Gender Norms in ‘Feminist Porn.’”

Parent Ruth Anderson said Papas had abused her role as headteacher in planning the pride march and should step down. Mrs Anderson explained that several parents had protested by refusing to let their children go to school on the day of the march.

“There were rainbow flags around the school, and the kids were even told to wear bright colours. That’s not having pride in yourself, that is blatant support for LGBT. I am not homophobic, but my faith teaches me a certain set of beliefs, and I do not want my child’s school making her choices for her,” Anderson said.

Papas defiantly responded: “We stand by our decision to celebrate national Pride Month by teaching British values.”

“This demonstrates how insecure this new sexual ideology is. It cannot tolerate the challenge of innocent ten-year-old children,” Williams, who is representing the parents, said.

“When bullies know that right is not on their side they resort to coercion and intimidation. That is exactly what is being played out in Heavers Farm Primary School,” she added.

Both parents have made it clear that their children will not return to school unless Papas provides an undertaking confirming that nothing will be said to or by members of staff or to the children’s classmates about the events that led to her “unlawful decision” to suspend them.

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