A study by the National Union of Teachers in Doncaster has found that “a significant minority” of teachers are reluctant to discuss gay issues in class.
The report, named ‘Prevalence of Homophobia’, found that 12% of those asked avoided the topic, and it made 10% of them nervous.
24% of those surveyed did not consider their school a safe place for students to come out, according to the Doncaster Free Press.
The survey took place as a result of the Doncaster Pride committee’s own surveys, which showed that LGBT pupils were being bullied and feeling isolated.
Tony Fenwick, co-chairman of LGBT schools organisation Schools Out, expressed concern about the NUT survey’s figures, saying: “Knowledge empowers young people and nobody should be anxious about raising awareness of new things in the classroom.”
Jo Moxton, assistant education director in Doncaster Council Children’s Services, said: “The research commissioned by Doncaster and District NUT is a reminder that there is no room for complacency in the progress towards exclusivity and positive rights.
“We will continue to work constructively with schools to help them challenge and eradicate homophobic behaviour and attitudes that violate the safe and diverse environment we are all committed to.”
A report published by Stonewall earlier this month found that although homophobic bullying had decreased slightly, 86% of secondary school teachers and 45% of primary school teachers report that pupils in their school have experienced this type of bullying.