Alperton Community School website

Christian school governor suspended for questioning LGBT content

Mon 14 Oct 2019
By Heather Preston

A 74 year old Christian governor has been suspended after questioning the rights of parents to be consulted on the introduction of a Pride month and LGBT books into the school library. 

Maureen Griffith, who has served as a governor at Alperton Community School, North London, since the 1990s received a booklet ahead of an upcoming governors meeting outlining plans by new staff members to introduce genre-specific reading lists for LGBTQ+ Pride Month for the following school year.

Upon attending the Curriculum and Standards meeting in May, Mrs Griffith raised concerns that parents had not had the opportunity to discuss the proposed content prior to a decision being made.

 

Detailing the meeting to Christian Concern, Griffith said she had highlighted 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”.  

Griffith urged the board to consider the rights of such families, adding “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”.

Following her comments, one member of staff is reported to have left the room while another accused Griffith of refusing to acknowledge the law to teach on same-sex relationships. 

Eleven days later, Griffith received a letter from the school’s clerk, Jo Sattaur, telling her that she had been suspended for “breaching the Governors Code of Conduct” and making “homophobic comments at a public meeting, that were offensive to members of staff”.

The letter informed Griffith that a legal investigation would take place and that “the governing board will only use suspension/removal as a last resort after seeking to resolve any difficulties or disputes in more constructive ways”.

On 3rd July, Griffith, accompanied by Pastor Ade Omooba, attended a meeting at the school and was told that there would be a “speedy conclusion” to the process. Since then, according to Christian Concern, Mrs Griffith has heard nothing.

In a statement to the Christian Legal Centre, Griffith said: “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 scrutinise, and this leads to discussion, debate and finding consensus on the right way to move forward.  

“When they told me I had been ‘homophobic’ for scrutinising the introduction of LGBT Pride Month, I had to go home and look up what it meant. I couldn’t believe it. But now with this LGBT agenda, not just in schools, but across society, there is no debate, no questioning and there is only a one-way democracy. 

“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.”

The school told Premier: "We are unable to comment on specific details relating to members of the School community for confidentiality and data protection reasons. However, we confirm that the School adopts the National Governance Association Governors Code of Conduct and that where complaints are raised in respect of Governors, the School would always consider whether an impartial and independent investigation is necessary.

"We further confirm that the School’s policies and resources are regularly reviewed and are wholly appropriate for the School community."

 

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