Nicky Morgan: Anti-gay bullying is ‘plaguing’ schools, ‘screwing’ students’ prospects
The Education Secretary has said school bullies are stopping gay, lesbian and bisexual people from reaching their potential.
Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, made the remarks at Brighton College.
Speaking at the conference, she said that schools were “plagued” by homophobic bullying, and that it was “screwing” with gay students’ future prospects.
She said: “The tragic fact is that young people who suffer homophobic bullying often pull back from school life. Many, of course, may avoid school altogether.
“They may choose universities or colleges where they think they will be accepted.
“They tend to choose careers where they think they will be safe. One in three students say the change their educational plans because of homophobic bullying at school.
“Their life chances are completely screwed because of the fear that come with being who they are.
“We cannot underestimate the effect that homophobic bullying has on young people.”
The Telegraph reports that the headmaster of Brighton College, Richard Cairns, said:”Gay teenagers are suppressing their homosexuality. Let’s say a girl loves rugby or cricket but to avoid being singled out as a lesbian will not participate in those activities for fear of being singled out.
“And equally there are certain subjects at school that are seen as male and a girl might say I am not going to do physics because I am only going to be one of the two girls doing physics.
“If you have an education environment that suppresses sexuality you can really constrict children’s ambitions.”