Inclusive education moves a step closer, as the Home Secretary plans to ‘stamp out’ hate crime through education
Home Secretary Amber Rudd has launched a campaign that aims to “stamp out” hate crime against the LGBT community and other minorities.
The Hate Crime Action Plan announced by Ms Rudd plans to unite communities in a coordinated effort against hate crime.
As well as a collaboration between the Department of Education and the Home Office to tackle things like homophobia and racism in schools, the scheme will also assess the police response to hate crime and establish a £2.4 million fund for places of worship to increase security measures.
A cornerstone of the new plan will see the Government reach out to schools in a bid to tackle discrimination early and not simply rely on criminal justice.
The programme will aim to provide teachers across England and Wales training to facilitate conversions with pupils and give them the tools they need to tackle prejudice.
Speaking to PinkNews, Ms Rudd said it was important to tackle hate crime early.
“It has to start early because we don’t want people to learn bad things, we don’t want them learning about hate when they are at school,” she said.
“We want schools to feel empowered to address instances of racial hatred or LGBT hatred and we are making sure they have enough training and they have the confidence to report it, where they need to do so.
“The evidence of these hate crimes, in places like Orlando, make it even more important to stand up and say ‘we are a country that won’t tolerate any sort of hate crime’.
“It needs to start early, it starts in schools, it needs to go right through people’s lives and needs to be bedded into people’s communities.
“That’s why we are working with the Department of Education to pilot a number of initiatives.”
Although the Home Secretary would not confirm this was a step towards inclusive education, she added: “At the moment we are just piloting these initiatives with the Anne Frank organisation and Streetwise and we are going to make sure we learn from it to see what else we can do.”
Nick Antjoule, Hate Crime Manager at Galop, said: “I think that the issue of education is an absolute missing link in our societal response to LGBT hate crime and all sorts of violence.
“If we as a society are unable to give young people the space to explore all sorts of issues of identity and if there are some issues that are there on the table and some that are not, then what I feel is that as adults we are abandoning young people and successive governments have failed in that regard.”
Mr Antjoule added that although he thought the action plan was a step in the right direction, but believed there need to be more funding for LGBT issues.
He added: “Less than one percent of the money that goes into the voluntary sector goes to LGBT causes. It’s tiny.
“How can LGBT charities effectively respond to hate crime or deal with advocacy?
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“It’s a big ask when you are underfunded. The funding is a Home Office issue, as well as a local authority issue, and there has been a reduction in it.
“The action plan to educate in schools and tackle hate crime is a step in the right direction, but there needs to be more funding for LGBT issues.”
Ms Rudd, the MP for Hastings and Rye, also said that the Government working with police to ensure an Orlando-style massacre would never happen in the UK.
She said: “The police have the tools and we are working very closely with them to make sure they are aware of big public gatherings because that’s where these attacks happen, we have the national barrier asset which is a great big blocks that stop cars going into places, you have all sorts of initiatives that the police work with local communities to ensure that big group gathering are safe.
“I think that the tools the police have are important, reporting is incredibly important, so that the people who are victims of hate crime are taken seriously and are addressed.”