Current Affairs

Lib Dems go online to fight homophobic bullying

Marc Shoffman November 21, 2006
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Gay Bristol Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams, has produced a YouTube video about homophobic bullying as the party highlights its campaign during anti-bullying week.

Mr Williams uses the video to discuss the unique aspects of homophobic bullying and calls on people to support the Liberal Democrat campaign against it.

The Lib Dems are campaigning for homophobic taunts and name calling in schools to be challenged immediately by staff, for anti-bullying policies to include measures specifically to deal with homophobic bullying and for at least one teacher in every school should undergo training which includes how to tackle homophobic bullying.

The party has a petition which can be signed by clicking here and currently has an Early Day Motion in parliament.

Commenting on the campaign and his experiences, Stephen Williams MP said: “Bullying of any kind, left unchecked, can have devastating effects on its victims. It can lead to truancy, lower educational attainment, damaged self-esteem well into adult life and even provoke self-harm and suicide.

“Young people who are bullied for being gay, or because they’re suspected of being gay, very often feel they don’t have anyone to confide in.

“It’s a very lonely distressing experience and it’s happening to thousands of young people in England.

“I left school some time ago but still have some very painful memories of what it is like to be bullied because you’re gay.

“Homophobic bullying is harder to monitor and track because schools are not obliged to report when it happens. That needs to change. All schools should have anti-bullying policies that specifically address homophobic bullying.

“And teachers need to have proper training so they have the skills to recognise it and get rid of it from our schools.”

Anti-Bullying Week runs until November 24 2006.

The video can be seen here…

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