A film to tackle homophobic bullying is to be sent to every secondary school in Scotland.
FIT, produced by Stonewall, features six teenagers, some of whom are gay, at a dance club. It has been compared to television shows Glee and Skins, both of which have been commended for their take on gay issues.
It has already been sent to schools in England and Wales and will begin arriving in Scottish schools today.
Carl Watt, director of Stonewall Scotland, said: “Too many young people have told us they experience homophobic bullying in the classroom and too many teachers have told us they haven’t had the training they need to tackle it.
“Two thirds of Scottish lesbian, gay and bisexual young people are bullied in school, and 98 per cent of all children hear the phrases ‘that’s so gay’ or ‘you’re so gay’ at school.
“This film is here to support teachers in bringing about much needed change in our schools and helping them create the safe learning environment that is every child’s right.”
Stonewall research published last year found that nine out of ten secondary school teachers said children and young people currently experience homophobic bullying, name calling or harassment in their schools – but the same proportion had never received any specific training on how to prevent and respond to homophobic bullying.
FIT is an adaption of a Stonewall play seen by 20,000 pupils in the last few years.
Writer and director Rikki Beadle-Blair said: ‘When on tour I would ask the kids how many people thought homosexuality was wrong. In every single school the vast majority, about 80 per cent, would put their hands up. But kids would come up after the performance and say quite openly, ‘I walked into this room homophobic and will leave it a changed person’.”