Criticism leads Borders school to get rid of ‘inappropriate’ links from website

A school has been accused of promoting “utter filth” after admitting sharing inappropriate video-links to explicit sexual content via its website.

By Kathryn Wylie
Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 12:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 12:28 pm
The current Jedburgh Grammar School buildings at The Pleasance, Jedburgh.
The current Jedburgh Grammar School buildings at The Pleasance, Jedburgh.

In a half-hour-long YouTube film viewed more than 2,000 times, Scottish Family Party leader Richard Lucas claims a link, since removed, on Jedburgh Grammar School’s website to a short film intended to help pupils understand gender and sexuality issues is completely inappropriate.

The former UK Independence Party election candidate has been leader of the right-wing and anti-feminist party since 2017, campaigning against what he calls “identity politics”, access to abortion, LGBT sex education and transgender rights.

Mr Lucas, of Edinburgh, criticises headteacher Susan Oliver’s inclusion of LGBT equality and history among the now-closed Pleasance school’s core values.

He also comments on clips of her and the links shared to Putting on the Dish, a 2015 film written and directed by Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston about the gay slang language Polari, and calls for those links to be removed.

Scottish Borders Council education chiefs have now granted that request, acknowledging that the clips contained explicit content, including some of a sexual nature.

The video was removed after a review deemed the material to be inappropriate, they say.

They have also since rewritten guidance to schools about their website material.

A council spokesperson said: “Jedburgh Grammar has been working closely with LGBT Youth Scotland to raise issues around LGBT+ and the school was proud to receive a bronze LGBT chartermark in 2018.

“This work has included a LGBT+ history project which has involved pupils carrying out research.

“As part of this research, a link to a video was uploaded which has since been reviewed and deemed inappropriate, with the video-link removed from the school’s website.

“The video-link was viewed only a handful of times on the website before it was removed.

“The council has now changed its guidance for posting content on school webpages.”

Mr Lucas’s video can be seen on the Scottish Family Party’s YouTube channel.