Ban on LGBT protests at school gates remains in place

Judge says it is likely trial will find some protests have 'strayed into harassing, alarming or distressing conduct'

Tes Reporter

A trial about the injunction will take place next month.

An interim injunction banning protesters objecting to LGBT teaching at a Birmingham primary school from demonstrating outside will remain in place ahead of a full trial on the issue, a judge has ruled.

Lawyers for the protesters brought a legal challenge on Monday against Birmingham City Council after the local authority successfully applied for an injunction on 31 May.

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Protests: School injunction reviewed next week

The local authority's legal action followed weeks of demonstrations outside Anderton Park Primary School against the teaching of certain aspects of relationship education.

Mr Justice Warby QC, hearing the challenge at the High Court in Birmingham, quashed the original injunction but immediately imposed a fresh interim order, with varied conditions, which still bans protests from outside the school's gates.

He said: "I find it likely the claimant (city council) will establish at trial some of the protesting has gone beyond lawful limits and strayed into harassing, alarming or distressing conduct, through its persistence, timing and context."

A full trial to consider the injunction is set to take place between 22-31 July.

Following the original injunction, the protesters last Friday held a protest outside the exclusion zone.

In a statement about the decision to maintain the exclusion zone, the NAHT headteachers' union, which has been supporting the schools affected by the protests, said: "This is welcome news. Staff and pupils at Anderton Park need peace and calm during the final weeks of term. 

“Staff have had to endure threats against their careers and their personal safety. Very young children have had to walk past demonstrators wielding megaphones, which is clearly unacceptable.

"The protests have not been conducted in a respectful or tolerant manner and they should be brought to an end now.

“This decision sends a clear message that these protests should end, and that protests should not be staged at other schools in Birmingham or anywhere else.

"NAHT is hosting a briefing in Westminster tomorrow for all MPs where we will be calling for the government to give clarity so that no more schools are faced with the kind of demonstrations that we have seen in Birmingham."

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