A parent-backed petition with over 2,400 signatures is calling for the resignation of Southwark diocese’s director of education and the reinstatement of school governors dismissed over an LGBT school row.
Amy Butler Kemp, a parent at John Fisher School, called for the resignation of Dr Simon Hughes, director of education at the Archdiocese of Southwark, for the sacking of five governors without due process.
This comes after LGBT children’s book writer, Simon James Green, was barred from visiting John Fisher School over concerns his books contradicted the school’s religious ethos.
A signatory and parent at John Fisher School in Purley also spoke out against the sackings.
She said: “The response has been shocking because without a proper school board there is a lot of instability within any school.
“It is not what children need after two years of Covid and protracted absence from study.”
A parent said she and her peers were informed of the decision over email by Father James Clark, the school’s Chaplain, without prior consultation.
Two further governors resigned in protest at the sackings, said a parent.
“We are happy that there are some existing people on board there to fight for the right reasons, but there is still a huge strain on those remaining,” she said.
Green was due to visit John Fisher School to discuss his fictional books for young adults and primary school children, before the diocese overruled parents and governors to cancel the talk.
The author’s young adult books are said to contain minimal references to LGBT themes and relationships, including brief descriptions of same-sex kissing.
A parent said: ‘‘If it’s the kissing that’s the issue then Shakespeare should be taken out of all school libraries.”
Despite the actions of the director of education parents remain in full support of the school, said the parent.
Dr Hughes and the John Fisher School were approached for comment.
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