Now you get suspended for merely questioning LGBT agenda
School official suspended for merely questioning LGBT agenda
Pride Month, books introduced with no board, parental consultation
A school-board member in the United Kingdom was suspended for questioning a staff decision to introduce, without consultation, LGBT Pride Month and LGBT books to the school library.
Maureen Griffith, 74, has served since the early 1990s as a governor at the Alperton Community School in Brent, North London, said Christian Concern, a division of the Christian Legal Center, which is representing her.
Ahead of a recent board meeting, Griffith discovered a booklet from the school’s library with a “genre-specific” reading list for LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
“At the meeting,” Griffith said, “I raised that the introduction of LGBT books and Pride month into the school had not been mentioned before at any previous meetings. I said that parents had not been consulted and that there would be parents with children from religious backgrounds who would object and not want their children to have this form of sex education.
“I urged them to consider those families, and added that as a parent myself, I would not have wanted my sons to be reading LGBT books or to be involved in an LGBT Pride month,” she said.
At that time a staff member walked out of the meeting, and the school’s clerk raged at Griffith, “Look what you’ve gone and done, you’ve upset him.”
A short time later, the clerk, Jo Sattaur, sent Griffith a letter accusing her of having “breached the governors code of conduct” by making “homophobic comments … that were offensive to members of staff.”
The letter announced her immediate suspension and an investigation.
Griffith then started working with the Christian Legal Center and sent a letter to the school asking for an explanation of the allegations and the justification for her suspension.
“I respectfully invite you to reconsider my suspension. As you say, the code of conduct states that the suspension is a ‘last resort,’ which will only be used when strictly necessary. Surely, suspension is only necessary and appropriate in cases of serious misconduct, not for a comment someone objects to,” her letter said.
She was told by the school there would be a “speedy conclusion,” but in the three months since has heard “nothing,” Christian Concern said.
“What has taken place at this school is a microcosm of what is happening across our society and sends a clear message to teachers, governors and students: if you oppose the LGBT agenda you will be silenced and punished,” said Andrea Williams chief executive of the center.
“No one is exempt, not even a kind, caring and compassionate woman in her 70s who has dedicated her whole life to caring for others and increasing the life chances of children and improving her community,” Williams said. “Such censor[ship] for merely questioning whether books with LGBT themes are appropriate for school libraries, and asking whether parents had been properly consulted, cannot go unchallenged. We call on the school to reinstate Mrs. Griffith and issue a full apology.”
Griffith, with some 40 years of experience as a nurse, has helped shape the the school’s curriculum, pioneered its health and safety practices and introduced better access for the disabled.
A native of Barbados under British rule, she arrived in London at age 16 and was trained and hired as a nurse at Neasden Hospital.
She had a family, and after being recommended by her church, began her role on the school’s board.
She explained her concern: “My mother always taught me that things have to be done properly. Therefore, whether as a nurse where I am responsible for patient safety or as a governor where I am responsible for a child’s education and shaping the school environment, it is my job to notice things that others do not. In meetings where someone may want to push something through, I scrutinize, and this leads to discussion, debate and finding consensus on the right way to move forward.”
She continued: “I loved being part of education and planning what was happening at the school. I am, however, at peace over the whole situation. I am not annoyed; I am only saddened that this is happening in this country.
“My faith in Jesus is very important to me in good and bad times – it is my be all and end all. I can do nothing without His help, and he makes my burden lighter. This is how my mum brought me up.”
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