As reported by the Independent, Woodside High School, in Wood Green, north London, has received hundreds of abusive messages after it painted a rainbow crossing to celebrate LGBT+ History Month
The school installed the crossing outside the school gates last week to champion equality and has since been inundated with abuse on social media. However, the headteacher of the school said the negative attention will not deter them from continuing their diversity work.
It comes as a row over LGBT+ lessons continues following protests outside schools in Birmingham from parents who argued that their children were too young to learn that same-sex couples exist.
The school’s crossing, funded by Haringey Council, is believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
Gerry Robinson, head of Woodside High School, said: “I am hugely proud of our students in their successful campaign to have the first rainbow crossing outside a school in the UK. This rainbow crossing stands for our commitment to championing equality, for our children’s rights to be respected and able to thrive as themselves, in school and beyond.”
On the criticism received over the past week, she added: “The hundreds of abusive messages regarding Woodside’s work on equality will not deter us from continuing our work. In fact, it only encourages us further for we do not want our students to go out into the world and face such hate.”
Councillor Seema Chandwani, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Haringey Council, said: “These young people are playing an important role in showing that diversity, inclusivity and equality is something we celebrate here in Haringey. We can all learn a lesson from them. There is absolutely no place for division in our borough. We’re very proud of these young people for lobbying so strongly about an issue that really matters to us all. We stand in solidarity with them, and the LGBT+ community here in Haringey and beyond, against discrimination and prejudice of any kind.”
Last month, Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, criticised the government for a lack of action over protests against LGBT+ equality lessons in schools, warning that tensions remain ‘unresolved’. The Ofsted boss warned that ‘anxiety and concern’ remain in communities ahead of relationships lessons becoming compulsory in all primary schools across England from September.