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Homophobic bullying ‘rife’ in schools

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  1. John (Derbyshire 10 Mar 2009, 2:11pm

    I attended secondary school in the 60`s-and although I was bullied-it wasn`t as bad as it seems to be now.

    This is one area where things have gone backwards-instead of forwards. Mainly I think because of thegreater visibility of all things gay-and also the attitudes and pronouncemnet of high profile public figures like Chris Moyles and Matthew Horne & James Corden-plus the fact that all the tv networks seem to turn a blind eye to broadcasting this type of “low level homophobia” Its become “acceptable” if you like-and homophobic bullying in schools is the fall-out.
    The only answer I feel is to enlist the help of these same media personalities to say-quite forcibly-that homophobic attitudes are just plain wrong!!

  2. Simon Murphy 10 Mar 2009, 2:21pm

    One slightly positive element of this story is the following sentence:

    “Pupils suspected to be gay and boys perceived to act or dress in a feminine way were most likely to suffer abuse, followed by pupils who are openly gay.”

    This means that openly gay students would seem to suffer less abuse than those people in the closet (or thought to be gay). That is good news and should be used to encourage more students to come out at school. School is tough. The only way to end school homophobia is to demystify homosexuality. As more teenagers are coming out earlier this is happening.

  3. john sharp 10 Mar 2009, 2:29pm

    the gouvement and the teachers know nothing about gays
    and we as kids in the 70 knew nothing till late
    and it was touch and go
    so sad all the oprotuniites missed by not knowing .
    now i am gay and open and will stand upo to any idiot who has a problem with gays , religions are the hate leader .they should be banned

  4. Simon Murphy 10 Mar 2009, 2:35pm

    I think school yard homophobia has very little to do with religion. The laws of the jungle apply in the schoolyard. It is survival of the fittest. Teenagers will scapegoat who they perceive to be weak and bully them. Whether it is because they are fat, gay, Asian whatever. Schools need to be supportive places for gay children to come out. Once being gay is not a mystery and not a stigma then the bullying will stop. Progress is being made in that direction but to be honest unless all gay teenagers come out I think it will remain a problem

  5. Alan Thorpe 10 Mar 2009, 3:20pm

    I’m sometimes puzzled why I wasn’t bullied at school in the late 1950s as I played an instrument and liked classical music. I was poor at sports apart from gymnastics which I think saved me. I also recall combing my hair in a feminine way. Homophobia is nothing new. I hear the words ‘poof’ and ‘pooftah’ used regularly in this area of West London. Things will never improve until same sex relationships are discussed openly and sensibly in schools as well as at home from the earliest years. Parents who object (for whatever reason – religious or otherwise) and withdraw their kids from classes should take responsibility for their children using offensive or insulting language. They should be made to pay a fine for the discomfort and stress caused to others.

  6. “Two-thirds of secondary school staff and three in four primary school staff blamed homophobic language on television”

    So naive – they hear it at home, from their parents!

  7. This is stark proof that homophobia has not gone away infact its worse than it was years ago

    Laws may have changed for the better but more needs to be done to change society and its bigoted attitude towards gay people

    This makes a laughing stock at those reports last year that state britain was the 2nd most gay friendly country in europe

    These children are tommorows future society I dred to think what society will be like in 10 years time if this is allowed to carry on

    The government has done very little in this area since 2007

    The sexual orientation regulations act 2007 did not include schools in it just goods and services
    now this week it has been revealed by the government they intent to include schools under this act

    Why didn`t they do it in the first place

    The effects on a childs later life is fatal and can mentally scar them for many years later

    There is a pettion on the number 10 website asking the government to tackle this problem and reduce it by bringing in a new policy and laws to help combat this I urge those who support equality to sign this pettion

    you can find it by logging on to the downing street website pettions and search homophobic in the search box

    The more people that sign this the better chance we have of getting them to act on it

  8. I don’t think kids hear homophobia from any one source, it’s partly the media, partly their parents fault and the very basic fact that the schoolyard has never been a place where young innocent minds are corrupted.
    The kids I encountered in the playground at primary school were already fully primed to be prejudiced against anyone shorter, fatter, more ginger, less good at sport, from another country and above all anyone remotely gay. Basically if you were different from the ‘norm’ in any way they’d tear you to shreds. It’s an ugly part of human nature, a kind of tribalism at an instinctive level that has to be educated out at the earliest opportunity.

  9. If people raised there children properly we wouldn’t have as many of these problems.

  10. Steven, Liverpool 11 Mar 2009, 10:59am

    There is still a long way to go when it comes to teaching about same sex relationships in the classroom. Look at the fuss caused by some parents in February when primary schools in Leytonshire celebrated LGBT History Month and introduced youngsters to same-sex relationships. Children as young as 4 were able to access storybooks with gay characters, and one school even re-enacted Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliett as Romeo & Julian. As a result of these harmless efforts to let children see positive depictions of same-sex people, dozens of parents reacted angrily and removed their children from the lessons. Action is now being taken against the offending parents by the schools.
    It’s one thing teaching about gay relationships in school, but we have to make sure that these reactionary & BIGOTED parents aren’t allowed to sabotage the lessons, and serious action is taken if they do. In this particular case, I blame religion, as many of these parents claimed their objetions were based on religious beliefs. This proves we also have a lot of work to do to fight religious homophobia. Do these bigoted people not realise that the country is ruled by the law and NOT the Bible???

  11. Just a few ideas to outline that homophobia is a complex issue. Many parents are bisexual and fear it being known. Many deny their homosexuality, resist recognizing it in themselves, and distort reality. Their fear can set up resonances and these resonances get picked up by the child, their investment. Institutions curse homosexuality and value oppression; they treat sex in the abstract when it is a reality. These are some of the covert reasons so many pretentious people run scared of homosexuality. Ignorance, arrogance, investment, and failure to meet the challenge of reality. It is a deep subject; consequently, there is no time for its consideration.

  12. While not purporting to have anything resembling an answer to this problem; one thing that did strike me (in addition to some valid points already raised) was the teenage compulsion to conform, fit in, belong & deride those who don’t. Its interesting this issue being raised now especially with the recent film Milk still in the public consciousness. The Harvey Milk High School in New York was founded for “lesbian, gay, trans & questioning” young people providing alternative education where attending regular school is difficult due to homophobia. No doubt many teens would crave for such a safe haven & for the politicians maybe they should consider that Harvey Milk High has a graduation rate of 92% (compared with the NY average of 60%). Food for thought possibly??

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