Fifth Formers Defend Gays

BIRMINGHAM: Fifth-formers have come out strongly on the side of Birmingham Gay Liberation Front members whose educational visit to their school has been mauled by the local and national press.

Halfway through December a party of five gays from Birmingham GLF went to Coleshill Comprehensive School in Warwickshire as part of a school conference on sex education. At the time the visit seemed to go smoothly, no one was worried, shocked, assaulted. Instead the GLF members met a lot of school-kids and put over the problems gays face and the theories of gay liberation.

Paper Tigers

Then Birmingham GLF published their newssheet. A copy went to the Birmingham Post and Mail group.

The next thing the gays knew was that they had scandalised parents by going to the school, according to the Birmingham papers.

Then the national papers picked up the story, and as queer-bashing in print is a Fleet Street hobby, the papers invented a ‘row’ over the sex talk.

That was something that neither Birmingham GLF nor the school knew anything about.

A spokesman for Birmingham GLF told Gay News: “There was no particular response from the school until this week.

“It seems that everything has been stirred up by the local papers. The Birmingham Post got hold of a copy and as far as we know phoned up parents and said ‘Isn’t this shocking?’ just to get a story.

Girls Take More Interest

“We were just part of a conference on sex education. For some reason the girls seemed far more interested in what we were saying than the boys.

“Now the fifth formers have rung up the newspaper and told them that they weren’t corrupted in any way by meeting us. We’re glad the kids are backing us. We’re also grateful to the school for their backing.”

Mr Thomas Wilson told the Daily Telegraph: “I was not aware of any row and have received no complaints from parents.

Positive Help

“I thought it was a risk to invite a homosexual speaker, but it turned out to be of positive help to the pupils to understand better the problems homosexuals have to face.”

Mr Dennis Prosser, a retired magistrate and chairman of the school’s governors told The Times he’d not known the gays were attending the sex-ed conference until afterwards. But, he said, “If you are going to have a talk on homosexuality, it is better to get someone who can talk with authority.”

Parents had been sent a letter telling them what was going to happen at the conference and that they could deny their children the right to hear all or any of the speakers.

All Aspects Of Sex

Mr Wilson went on to say that the pupils had asked the school to arrange the conference to reflect all aspects of sex.

Meanwhile The Daily Express reported someone from Birmingham GLF as saying: “We don’t see what all the fuss is about.”

The secretary of the school’s parent-teacher association, Mr Louis Power admitted that he was “concerned” that gays should be allowed into the school.

He said: “I don’t complain about sex education itself. But there is no need to push homosexuality in front of youngsters so strongly.”