One of Britain’s most celebrated gay writers has accused Scotland of failing to tackle homophobic bullying after 50 schools have rejected his play on the subject.
Rikki Beadle-Blair, who wrote the Channel 4 comedy drama Metrosexuality and presented the award BBC Radio 4 documentary, Roots of Homophobia believed that his play Fit would encourage young people to understand sexuality better.
After a successful tour of schools in London and Manchester, promoters wrote to 52 schools in Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and East Renfrewshire, all but one, Clydebank High School, rejected the play.
Mr Beadle-Blair told The Sunday Herald: “It is considered not important, even though surveys reported a vertiginous and exponential rise in anti-gay or homophobic bullying it’s partly the teachers’ fears. They want to protect kids and look after them, but they are not sure this is healthy It’s just a funny, engaging and ultimately a very healthy play.
“Clydebank High School was brave enough to take us, but we had hoped more schools would follow suit.”
The writer added: “You don’t have to be gay or homophobic to get a life lesson out of this play, and talking about homosexuality doesn’t mean you encourage it.”
Kathryn Thumath, a teacher at Clydebank High School told the paper:”It touched on homophobia and various different issues and I am pleased we are the first school to take this on board in Scotland.”
Glasgow City council claim that homophobic bullying is tackled within the curriculum. East Renfrewshire Council blame budgetary constraints rather than the content of the play for it not being taken up by local schools.