A video published by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) 2 weeks ago showed 6-year-old school children being instructed to write gay love letters. The video, on BBC Radio Manchester’s Facebook page, showed young children at Bewsey Lodge Primary School being instructed to write love letters from “Prince Henry” to his manservant, “Thomas”, with the teacher instructing her pupils: “You’re going to tell Thomas why it’s a brilliant idea for him to marry you.”
This school in Warrington has won an award for its LGBT teaching..
Posted by BBC Radio Manchester on Tuesday, 18 September 2018
The video with subtitled commentary which said, “This school teaches children about LGBT relationships from an early age,” has been causing a stir on social media.
“This class of six-year-olds is learning about gay marriage. In this fairytale, the Prince wants to marry his [male] servant. And the children are writing a love letter.”
The teacher, named as Sarah Hopson, told the BBC that the children “are going to go out into that world and find this diversity around them, and they’ll find that at a young age as well”.
She further explained that “the more they can be accepting at this age, you’re not going to face it further on, because the children will be accepting now and will be accepting this diversity around them.”
Many social media users highly critical of Hopson and Bewsey Lodge accused them of pushing lessons which are not age-appropriate.
One poster, claiming to be the headmistress of Bewsey school replied to some of the remarks, saying:
“Wow some amazingly uplifting comments thank you! I am the headteacher at Bewsey Lodge and am so very proud of my school, the children and their families. I don’t normally comment on social media however I feel compelled to share some thoughts. It is interesting to read how many people have sexualised the content of our curriculum.
What we are trying to achieve is a culture of acceptance and respect – put simply, live and let live. We teach about love and that love comes in all shapes and sizes. What we are trying to achieve is that children leave us, armed with enough information to make their own informed choices, children who can look at another persons life/situation and say, “This is different to my life or the way I feel or think but that’s ok.” We also teach about racism, extremism and religion and the same philosophy filters through it all.
I would challenge anyone who doubts the power of what we are trying to do around lgbt+ to come and talk to some of our little people. They could tell you about respect and how, if you want to wear a skirt for school and you’re a boy, it’s fine, if you have 2 mums or 2 dads as long as you’re loved it’s cool and there’s no such thing as boy’s and girl’s stuff it’s just – whatever!
This is not about sex it’s about love and understanding that the world is a big place full of lots of different people who may look different to you, believe in different things to you and feel differently about love and relationships to you but as long as it doesn’t hurt you or stop you from being who you are, then …. it’s ok…
That’s the person I want my 8 year old to be and our parents seem happy enough for their children to be taught to be accepting of others. Again, thank you for commenting, we are taking some of the comments and plan to discuss them in our philosophy sessions with y5/6.”
The school, also has a gender-neutral uniform system, and puts a lot of emphasis on cultural, ethnic, religious, and sexual differences. The school’s website advertises a video in which young pupils read from a script about equality, gender identity, and other social justice issues prominently.