Headteacher at St Mary's Catholic Primary School Wimbledon denies child's 'gay' jibe about shoes
A headteacher has denied reports that a gay rights group were called in to her school after a child called a fellow pupil’s shoes "gay".
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, in Russell Road, Wimbledon, denied a playground jibe had led to Headteacher Sarah Crouch calling in gay rights group Stonewall to teach staff how to prevent homophobic bullying.
She also said there had been no reported incident of a child calling another pupil's shoes "gay".
The Daily Telegraph reprorted the school was the first and only Catholic primary school in the country to be listed as a Stone "Primary School Champion" of gay equality after the group was called in after the alleged comment was made.
Miss Crouch said Stonewall visited the school last September as part of a requirement by Ofsted, the schools inspector.
Miss Crouch told the Wimbledon Guardian: "We do not have an issue of homophobic bullying in the school.
"We are not a school champion for gay equality - but we are opposed to discrimination of any kind."
She said: "The governing body of St Mary’s, following consultation with the Diocese of Southwark, took the decision to join the Stonewall School Champions programme.
"This was not as a result of any incident in school.
"There has not been any incident of a five-year old child calling another child’s shoes "gay".
She added: "Stonewall gave us assurances that the training would not say anything that would be contrary to the distinctive nature of a Catholic school.
"In keeping with the ethos of our school and the teachings of the Catholic Church we are opposed to any kind of discrimination.
"The Stonewall Education branch visited St Mary’s to give staff at the school appropriate training on how to deal with any incidents of homophobic bullying and how to challenge the use of homophobic language if they should occur."
Stonewall’s resources for primary schools involve a pack called Different Families, Same Love, which teaches children that same-sex couple households are equal to marriages between heterosexuals.
Children are also taught not to use the term "gay" derisively.
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