A headteacher has revealed he once received death threats from parents because his school began teaching children about same-sex relationships.
Jamie Barry said the abuse was so bad at a primary school he once taught at in Birmingham that he needed police protection.
Mr Barry was headteacher of Welford Primary School in 2014 when it became embroiled in the Operation Trojan Horse scandal – an alleged plot by hard-line Islamists to take over the governance of a number of state schools in Birmingham.
A series of investigations by authorities saw a number of schools in the city inspected, including Welford Primary.
Mr Barry said Ofsted found ‘nothing untoward happening’ at Welford, but Ofsted inspectors did highlight that the school needed to do more work to engage the children in the school to the concept of same-sex relationships.
It sparked a furious reaction from some parents.
He said: ‘We embarked on a piece of considered work, working with a national organisation called Educate and Celebrate, and from that, it sparked the backlash of personal attacks and abuse aimed towards me and members of my staff.
At one point, Mr Barry had to be escorted out of his own school by police, when a parents’ forum meeting turned nasty.
‘It was awful. We are there to do our job,’ said Mr Barry.
‘We were there to do what we thought was best for the children, and we have to respond to Government and Ofsted directives, and that was what we were doing.
‘It had a really personal impact on me because I received death threats, I received regular abuse, I had a police marker put on my home address, and that is an unacceptable position for anybody to be put into for simply doing their job.’
Mr Barry, now the headteacher of Parson Street Primary School in Bristol, has called for tolerance amid continuing protests against LGBT lessons from parents.
Parkfield Community School in the majority Muslim Alum Rock area of Birmingham made headlines earlier this year when a huge number of parents protested lessons taught by gay teacher Andrew Moffatt.
Mr Moffatt devised a series of LGBTQ lessons about equality and challenging homophobia for children there but says he too was sent death threats and met with calls to resign.
Crowds of parents with loudspeakers protested outside the school gates, with copycat protests emerging at schools elsewhere in the city in growing numbers.
Mr Barry said while he understood the concern of parents, he did not agree with them.
The official National Curriculum lessons on relationships to not ‘promote’ homosexuality, he said, ‘because it is not something you aspire to be, it is something you are’.
The head believes children should be taught about same-sex relationships and being LGBTQ from ‘the moment they are born’.
He said: ‘If you start to withhold information then it becomes a stigma later on, and suddenly you have to start introducing new concepts.
‘We don’t talk to the children about “we can’t let you see people on the streets until you’re seven years old that maybe are in a same-sex relationship”.
‘They will see people in their community that are in same sex relationships or who are transgender.
‘We need to teach them from a very early age what that means, so they don’t grow up with discriminatory or homophobic views, because they are not born that way.
‘Those views happen through the culture they are surrounded by, so it is really important for us as schools to create a culture of acceptance and diversity.’
The teaching of same-sex relationships will be cemented in law next year when the Government strengthens the National Curriculum to teach LGBT issues to children at primary school.
Mr Barry said: ‘We live in a diverse society where it is acceptable for there to be two mums, two dads, or to be transgender, and it is only right and fair that our schools teach our children about the world they live in.’