New resources and tools to help school staff fight homophobic bullying have been created by a local authority anti-bullying team.
The new materials are designed to help teachers and other staff “effectively and confidently” achieve the aims set out in the guidance materials on bullying.
This week is Anti-Bullying Week 2007, run by the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), who this year are focusing on ‘bullying in the community.’
Gay equality organisation Stonewall and LGBT education group Schools Out are members of the ABA, which is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
Leicestershire Anti Bullying Team has produced its unique whole school resource pack to enable school staff to address homophobia and homophobic bullying in secondary schools.
STANCE takes the form of pack containing ten resource books which will be available to secondary schools from this month.
In addition, a website has been launched to promote and support the materials.
Phil Harbour, Educational Psychologist for the Leicestershire local authority and a member of the Anti-Bullying Team, told PinkNews.co.uk:
“I have been working on this project for nearly two years. When I first began investigating this area, it became quickly apparent that there was a huge amount of guidance and advice that existed, telling schools that they must challenge homophobia/homophobic bullying.
“However, what there is very little of are the resources or tools that school staff must be provided with if they are to effectively and confidently achieve the aims set out in the guidance materials.
“For example, the pack contains posters, lesson activities, staff training sessions and materials, activities to discuss the issues with parents and governors, information leaflets for pupils, LGB role model biographies.”
The pack is endorsed by the Football Association and two high-profile sporting personalities.
Research published by Stonewall earlier this year revealed that nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of homopbobic harassment.
That figure jumps to 75% of young gay people attending faith schools.
The survey of more than 1,100 young people found that only 23% of all UK schools explicitly condemn homophobic bullying.
92% of gay, lesbian and bisexual pupils have experienced verbal abuse, 41% physical bullying and 17% have been subject to death threats.
For further information on STANCE click here.