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Councillors say no restraining zones if anti-LGBT school protests take place

The idea to introduce restraining zones outside the town’s schools to combat potential protests against LGBT+ inclusive education has been described as a ‘massive overreaction’.

From September 2020, all secondary schools will be required to teach pupils about sexual orientation and gender identity.

Primary school children will also learn about different types of families, including those with same-sex parents.

Cllr Dexter Smith (Con, Colnbrook with Poyle) said Slough Borough Council should inform headteachers in the area that, in the event of protests against LGBT teaching, a restraining zone could be set up to protect schoolchildren.

He told a full council meeting at 25 Windsor Road: “It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that protests might happen this year.

“All we’re suggesting is this curriculum be introduced sensitively and headteachers be reminded of the fact the local authority has the power to put an exclusion zone outside the school should they ask for it.”

Council leader James Swindlehurst described the proposal as a ‘massive overreaction’ and said dialogue should be promoted in the event of protests.

He said: “I would like to think if a protest is peaceful and small it can take place.

“We should promote dialogue first of all and try and get people to meet and understand each other and only if situations get very entrenched would we have to do anything more.

“The idea that we want to create a cordon sanitaire to children into schools is a massive overreaction when we haven’t had such protests in our schools.”

Councillors voted to agree a motion to support schools and headteachers with the introduction of compulsory relationship education but chose not to include the proposals for restraining zones.

The council also agreed to support voluntary organisations with the aim of setting up Slough’s first Pride event.

The meeting took place on Thursday, September 26.

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