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Father of suicide teenager addresses homophobic bullying conference

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  1. I was there on Friday and heard Roger speak. It was the most moving address i’ve ever heard,, am not ashamed to say that i was moved to tears. he delivered his words clearly with dignity and obvious love and pride for his lovely Dom.

    1. jamestoronto 5 Jul 2011, 9:22pm

      Such a string of events; such a terrible waste of so young a life. Was the speech taped? If so, it might be something that can shared – disturbing and hurtful yes – but a message that is needed

  2. Mark Healey 5 Jul 2011, 5:46pm

    A sad and tragic situation that brings back memories of my own schools days and the moment that the bullying that I had suffered for so long became too much and I jumped head first out of an open window. I was lucky, the person bullying me managed to grab my feet, I dangled outside for a moment, long enough to see the ground below and know that I could not take the endless beatings any more. In that moment I also realised that I did not want to die, and later I swore to myself that I would never let anyone push me that far again. I think my tormentor realised just how far he had pushed me too and the bullying stopped. We need to do everything we can to tackle bullying in schools so that this does not happen again.

    1. I am so glad you survived, Mark.

      Have you considered making a video for It Gets Better (if it’s not too painful)?

  3. Dan Filson 5 Jul 2011, 5:48pm

    The more I have thought of this the more I have realised how those of us who have been or still are school governors did not or do not put enough time and thought into tackling bullying, ensuring schools have working policies to investigate and stop it and to make clear to all students how much hurt can be caused even if unwittingly. The new social media of text messages and facebook mean that hurtful remarks can circulate at lightning speed, making the butt of such “jokes” feel totally isolated. “Banter” is no defence to charges of bullying. Roger has been energised to campaign but it should not take tragedies such as his family suffered to make us all more energetic in combatting bullying (and for that matter, teenage suicide).

    1. Mark Healey 5 Jul 2011, 5:56pm

      and social media can help too because it means that we can run postive campaigns like the “It gets Better” project, and make sure that information, advice and support services are properly signposted so that they are more accessible to those that need them. I would like to see the Government ensure that there is good signposting in place in every school.

  4. Mark Healey 5 Jul 2011, 5:51pm

    And I need to add that year’s later, going in to a gay bar in Windsor I bumped in to one of my school teachers – who apologised to me for not doing anything about the bullying that I was going through. I still feel angry about that but I also understand that as a gay teacher it must have been hard for him too. We need to make sure that we create the right atmosphere in schools so that young people are safe, and teachers are empowered to take action too. Part of the legacy of Section 28 is that it’s shadow still creates a climate of fear amongst some teachers, something that I am glad Stonewall and other organisations like Schools out are tackling.

    1. Staircase2 6 Jul 2011, 12:25am

      Its important to remember that gay teachers are equally being bullied by the system that operates.
      Stonewall a little while back had a campaign where they asked everyone to write to the current Head at their old schools to highlight the issue of Homophobia and ask what kind of policy the school now has in place to deal with incidents of homophobia and Homophobic bullying.
      I emailed the new Head at my school and didnt receive a reply – despite resending the email twice over a matter of a month or so.
      Shocking. Especially in light of the (then) recent legal requirement to have a policy in place to protect LGBT students.

  5. A friend’s child suffered homophobic bullying at school and the school was most unsympathetic and did not pay any attention – it was a CofE school and they claimed that bullying did not happen at their school. Utter nonsense – it happens everywhere, so schools and workplaces should have robust policies and practices in place to deal with it and prevent it. I am also glad of the It Gets Better Project and similar initiatives, but schools need to pick this up and run with it.

  6. Roger Crouch impresses me every time he does something on this issue. I cannot believe that someone – who has suffered the awful, world-destroying tragedy that he and his family have – can actually find the emotional strength to make life better for total strangers. He’s inspirational.

  7. Well done to Roger and everyone who gives him a platform.

  8. jamestoronto 5 Jul 2011, 10:06pm

    Just an observation —

    With kids it is called “harmless teasing” but if an adult is involved it is CRIMINAL HARASSMENT.

    With children it is just some “school yard horsing around yet an adult is a victim of ASSAULT.

    When crude joke in the form of graffiti, e-mails, or text-messages are passed around about a child it is “just kids having a laugh” yet for the adult population it CRIMAL SLANDER or LIBEL.

    The law enforcement agencies (police, school boards, etc) should arrest these punks. With countless ads on TV and radio, the “I Will Get Better” campaign, visits to schools by anti-bullying speakers, the argument “They’re just kids, they didn’t know” does not a grain of sand.

    1. Staircase2 6 Jul 2011, 12:30am

      Im not sure that whats required is ‘arresting’ them. Theyre kids – they dont know any better – and thats why there needs to be a firm policy in place in order to EDUCATE them as to what kind of behaviour is acceptable.
      All children are doing is acting out the behaviour they have seen elsewhere – either in the home, the playground or, shockingly, the classroom.
      This needs to change.
      By the way – the use of the word ‘punks’ is kinda out of order given that it is a slang word which has essentially been used to replace the word ‘gay’ in the US.

  9. Scott Grundy 6 Jul 2011, 12:30am

    A too common tragedy. Condolences to his father and congratulations on the strength to come out and address bullying.

    In the interests of addressing bullying it should be noted that the Opera should go ahead in the North. Cutting the gay character fuels the basis of that bullying. Implying that being gay is not normal and you can victimise any gay people in that school.
    That is the message of the authorities and others involved in dropping it here.

  10. dave wainwright 6 Jul 2011, 12:52am

    Roger Crouch and his wife Paola are inspirational people , I cannot begin to imagine how it must be to lose a beautiful child that they had created and nurtured for 15 years, in this manner , it is all very well a million people parading through central london but little appears to have changed in the classroom and playground and when celebrating GAy Pride we must remember PRIDE IS A PROTEST and harness this energy and POWER to improve the lot of children who are still very much on the front line and the battlefield in a war zone where GAY equality is still a long way off OBVIOUSLY .

  11. Jock S. Trap 6 Jul 2011, 8:49am

    Schools can be the cruelist of places if you are considered different, regardless of the fact that most people are just the same even if we are LGBTQI or not.

    With that it should be the duty of teachers, parents, even the government to make school life easier, more accepting and less discriminating.

    The only way to do that is to educate and I could never understand why in such an important development in life why adults feel the need to restrict and be intolerant just to please their own egos.

    Good on Roger Crouch for standing up and being counted in the fight against homophobia and hatred in general which really should be the last thing to expect in any school.

    1. Stonewall are doing a lot of very good work with primary and secondary schools to combat homophobic bullying. It was encouraging to see that schools are beginning to take this seriously and trying to tackle the problems. The conference was well attended and it was encouraging to see some of the positive steps that are being introduced to stop bullying. Well done to Stonewall for this, and, of course, well done to Roger Crouch for such a powerful address.

      1. It seems little has moved on in the UK education system regarding homophobic bullying since we made this factual video The education system & homophobic UK police have simply become better at putting spin on it & bullying victims of homophobia who complain… little has actually improved.

        Fortunately Peter, (22yrs old this year) the lad in the above video did not commit suicide, despite the disgusting treatment from Cornwall police, social services, education, youth services & the vile Intercom Trust in Devon. He still lives as a tenant of the pensioner who took him.

        …and Cornwall police continue to harass & intimidate.

  12. I have absolute symoathy for Roger. I would not want it to be thought that this in any way takes away from his crushing loss and he has my deepest sympathy. But…..

    Why send your child to a sectarian school in the first place?

  13. The Christians are behind the gay hate and everybody know this, stop the Christians an their propaganda that makes people into a bully that kills gays. The Christian are responsible for senseless murders and need to be held accountable for their action or inaction towards this problem caused by Christians.

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