Current Affairs

Homophobia on the rise in Scottish schools

Celine Casey July 3, 2007
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70% of young gays and lesbians in Scottish schools have also revealed their feelings towards they unsafe environment they have to endure on a daily basis.

Scottish schools are realising that bullying is a issue among young people and represents a living hell for most.

Homophobia can be directed towards its victim in many ways and can be extremely damaging whether it is physical, emotional or verbal, between young people.

It can have a direct effect on a young persons mental health and well being.

Nicola Sturgeon, MSP, Deputy First Minister and Secretary for Health said:

“Ignorance is at the root of most discrimination and our schools are the first line of defence.

“If you don’t teach children or allow children to learn and understand about these issues then they are going to enter the adult world ignorant.”

Stonewall Scotland Director Calum Irving said:

“Homophobic bullying is a problem endemic to schools across the UK, and Scotland is not an exception.

“Fortunately the SNP have made strong manifesto commitments to tackle the issue.

“These statistics make it even more pressing that they make good their manifesto promise to tackle homophobic bullying.”

LGBT Youth Scotland works with teachers and the government to try and curb the problem of homophobic bullying in schools by providing awareness and more confidence.

They also introduced the NO Big Deal campaign in May 2007, using posters to challenge homophobic attitudes that induce isolation and insecurity whilst providing a dynamic point with young people.

Jamie Rennie, Chief Executive, LGBT Youth Scotland said:

“This campaign is an open discussion with young people. Homophobic bullying is not acceptable within our schools, but we are seeking to create dialogues with young people rather than to preach.

“It is the responsibility of young people to treat each other with respect, but it is everyone’s responsibility to tackle homophobic bullying.”

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