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Parents pull child from nursery after finding 'erotic' image in children's book

Parents pull child from nursery after finding 'erotic' image in children's book

A couple from Hull have removed their child from a nursery after they were exposed to a picture in the book Grandad’s Pride.

A west Hull couple who claim their child was exposed to 'sexualised images' from a children’s book has removed their four-year-old daughter from that nursery.

The image in question is from a book called Grandad’s Pride, which several pages in shows an illustration of two men at a pride parade while dressed in black leather gear.

Parents Will and Maria Taylor say they initially flagged their concerns with Genesis Pre-School in North Road, but were unhappy with their response and removed their daughter as a result.

An employee of the school was said to have asked Maria if she was happy with the contents of the Grandad’s Pride, and the mum initially had no issue with it.

Parents Will and Maria Taylor have removed their 4-year-old daughter from the pre-school.

However, after other parents spotted the 'erotic' illustration, Will and Maria raised their concerns with the nursery.

"We identified two images of men who are partially naked in leather bondage gear," Will said.

"One has a leather cod-piece moulded tightly around his crotch along with garters running down his thighs.

"He also has a studded dog collar around his neck and knee high boots. Both have various leather straps around their bodies and studs/spikes.

"The main and most immediate concern is that children have been exposed to at least two age-inappropriate sexual or erotic images of a man in what can only be reasonably described as ‘bondage/fetish/BDSM’ gear."

Explaining how the school responded, Will claims: "The safeguarding lead began to defend the images. They argued the children would not understand or perceive erotic or sexual images.

The 'erotic' image was featured in the children's book, Grandad's Pride.
Harry Woodgate

"Staff claimed the image was just portraying 'dress-up' and would not be perceived as erotic by a child as they have no idea what 'erotic' is.

"They disagreed with our assessment that the images are erotic and stated 'that’s just your opinion'. But this was no justification in our eyes.

"Arguing with us over the appropriateness of these sexual images quickly damaged the trust we held for the nursery team.

"At this stage I was concerned and took our daughter out of the nursery."

Although the father thinks it's 'great' to have so 'many' LGBTQ+ books at nursery, he believes 'this book has gone too far in introducing sexual imagery'.

The trustees of the nursery said they have since removed the book from the school.

The image that sparked concern amongst parents showed a couple dressed in what appeared to be bondage gear.
Harry Woodgate

In a response to Will and Maria seen by Hull Live, they said: “As Trustees, we agree that the images in the book Grandpa’s Pride are not age appropriate.

“This book has been removed from Genesis and a comprehensive audit of all other books has taken place to ensure all books, whilst celebrating culture and diversity, are age appropriate.

“We also intend to raise this with Hull Early Years and seek their advice on the illustrations within this book, when the new school year commences in September.

“After speaking to staff, we are confident that each staff member has a solid understanding of the statutory EYFS framework and safeguarding policies, including harmful sexual behaviours.

“We are also confident, after removing this book from the setting, that children who attend Genesis are not exposed to sexual or erotic images.

Will and Maria Taylor flagged their concerns with Genesis Pre-School in North Road, but were unhappy with their response and removed their daughter as a result.
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"It is with deep regret that you felt it necessary for you to remove your daughter from Genesis. We can assure you that Genesis Pre-school strives to create a culture of value and respect for each and every young person.

“As Trustees we are confident that Genesis does create a culture of safety, in which Safeguarding children is the highest priority.”

A response to general backlash against the book's illustrations from publisher Andersen Press reads: “We stand by our author and illustrator Harry Woodgate and their book Grandad’s Pride.

"We believe it is a faithful representation of Pride Celebrations and Pride Parades around the country enjoyed by many families.

“We discussed the images of the Pride parade during our stringent and robust editorial process and decided collectively that we should show a true representation of what a Pride march looks like and what the many children who attend these events see.

"We consider accusations of 'hidden messages' to be baseless, deeply offensive and homophobic.”

Featured Image Credit: Hull Live/MEN MEDIA

Topics: Parenting, UK News, LGBTQ