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LGBT people 'never felt more vulnerable' in Birmingham

LGBT people 'never felt more vulnerable' in Birmingham

Protesters outside Parkfield Community School said lessons on same-sex relationships were not age appropriate
People who identify as LGBT say they have "never felt more vulnerable" in Birmingham, following protests against same-sex relationship education.Some Muslim parents have been protesting since January against the No Outsiders programme at Parkfield Community School in Alum Rock.LGBT community members expressed disappointment in the police response at an open meeting on Thursday.A West Midlands Police officer said the force "could have done more".Insp Matt Crowley said policing "hadn't been perfect" but the force took hate crime "very seriously".
Deputy head teacher Andrew Moffat said the school was "simply teaching children about different families"
The meeting held in Birmingham's gay village was attended by more than 100 people, the majority of whom agreed they felt increasingly threatened, anxious and frightened.Birmingham LGBT said it had recorded a rise in hate crime. However, Insp Crowley said protests outside Parkfield school did not constitute a crime, despite coming "very close to that line".
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For several weeks, parents, mostly of Muslim faith, have been calling on the school to scrap the programme that teaches children about same sex couples through story books. They believe the subject is "undermining parental rights and authority" and have said the lessons are "toxic" and "disgusting".
At one protest, Fatima Shah spoke on behalf of the protesters, saying: "Our children, our choice"
Ch Insp Sarah Tambling told the meeting police "are not the right people to sort this out - there needs to be a partnership".She apologised to the group, the majority of whom raised their hands when she asked if they felt increasingly vulnerable in Birmingham.Andrew Moffat, the school's deputy head teacher who devised the programme, said the school was now re-engaging with parents and a meeting had been held on Thursday afternoon.
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Birmingham
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