Catholic school brings in Stonewall to teach students about bullying

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St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Wimbledon, southwest London had an incident where one of its five-year-old students called another’s shoes “gay.” They brought in a gay rights group to teach students at the school some techniques to deal with anti-gay bullying.

Sarah Crouch, the head teacher, was approached by one of the supervisors at the school who reported the incident and from there Crouch decided that the situation needed to be handled immediately.

Crouch reached out to gay rights group Stonewall, who gives teachers, parents and young people resources and workshops on how to handle such situations.

The training took place back in September and was given the okay by all but one of the governors, and received the approval of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark. According to the school, the training was a success and St. Mary’s Primary is now the first and only Catholic elementary school in the country to be listed as a Stonewall “Primary School Champion” of gay equality.

Stonewall taught the students a message of love and equality by showing them that actions such as calling someone gay in a mean way was bad, and that same-sex families were the same as heterosexual families.

Unfortunately, the workshops didn’t go over too well with some of family campaigners, who not only disapproved but were angry by the mandatory training the children had to attend. Antonia Tully, national coordinator of the Safe at School campaign, is one of the people outraged by Stonewall coming into a Catholic school.

“If a primary school takes on Stonewall’s agenda, young children will be exposed to homosexual issues which they are too young to understand properly,” Tully told The Telegraph newspaper. “Parents expect a school to provide an education, not subject their children to gay propaganda.”

Stonewall and St. Mary’s stand by their plan to continue teachigh their children about the negative reprecussions of bullying.

429Magazine

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