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Pupils as young as five were left ‘confused and worried’ after a school assembly to explain homosexuality. Teachers played a recording of Elton John’s Your Song before explaining that the singer is homosexual and what the term means.
The children were then shown images of same-sex couples. Parents said the experience left some pupils afraid to cuddle each other in the playground in case other children thought they were gay.They have complained they were not consulted over the content of the assembly. Although it may have been appropriate for older children, they say it left the little ones confused and self-conscious about being friends with classmates of the same sex.
When parents complained to the headmaster, they claim they were treated as ‘homophobic’ for even raising the issue. The assembly, given to pupils aged from five to 11 at Bromstone Primary, in Broadstairs, Kent, aimed to steer them away from homophobic bullying. It also covered bullying on the grounds of race, language and weight.
Gemma Martin, 28, whose children, Chloe, seven, and Danny, four, attend the school, said some pupils were now worried ‘about being friends with each other’. ‘Little girls often cuddle each other if one of them is crying or has fallen over, and now they are afraid to do that in case the others think they are gay,’ she said
‘Five-year-olds understand about relationships and about liking people,’ he said. Kent education officer Lynne Miller said: ‘This was an assembly about bullying and parents have praised the school for its handling of such a sensitive matter. ‘Young children are exposed at a very early age to homophobic language. If language is not challenged it makes it much more difficult to address homophobic bullying in secondary schools.’