Several gay rights charities have voiced concern about an apology issued by a school to a woman who expressed homophobic views.
Brannel School apologised to Vicky Allen when she took legal action against them over a written warning.
She had said she did not like the way the rainbow had become a symbol for gay pride and did not approve of same-sex relationships.
Andy Edwards, head teacher, issued a statement saying she had the ‘right to share her Christian beliefs’ and apologised for any upset she felt.
However, that has angered many people who think the school should not have said sorry.
A spokesperson for the charity Stonewall, the largest LGBT rights organisation in Europe, said: ‘Students from same-sex families or those who are questioning their own identities can often be vulnerable, and it’s vital that schools are responsible in ensuring these students feel included and welcome.
‘To help make sure this happens, Stonewall will continue to call for compulsory SRE, including age appropriate lessons on LGBT issues.
‘It’s unfortunate when faith is cited as a reason to avoid teaching young people about difference, as this does not help dispel the myth that that religion and LGBT people can’t coexist.
‘Stonewall works with hundreds of fantastic faith schools, who also believe in a world where we are all accepted without excep-tion.
‘Until then, we will continue to work alongside our Stonewall Faith Role Models, who visit these schools to talk about the importance of treating people equally regardless of who they are.’
Devon-based LGBT social enterprise Proud2Be said in a statement: ‘Although we do believe all people have the right to their opinions, Vicky Allen is employed to support the school in providing a fair and equal education to all students, including those who may identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual &/or trans+.
‘Unfortunately, the message that is being sent out to every young person in Brannel School is that it is OK to believe that some people should be denied equal rights and protection under the law because of other peoples opinions of them.
‘This is a message that we will continue to challenge and counterbalance at Proud2Be.
‘Too often we hear religious freedom used as a way of justifying beliefs, that in many other contexts would be regarded as bigoted and in congruent with the values of a school in 2016.
‘The Ofsted framework now explicitly directs inspectors to look at a school’s efforts to tackle bullying and prejudicial language based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. This includes but is not limited to Equal Marriage.’