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An overwhelming majority of LGBT pupils have heard homophobic, transphobic or biphobic remarks in school

Ella Braidwood September 25, 2019
LGBT+ teacher

New research has found that a shocking number of pupils hear anti-LGBT+ language in Scottish schools. (Envato)

More than eight in ten (81 percent) school pupils have heard fellow students making homophobic, biphobic or transphobic comments, according to new research.

The latest study, carried out by LGBT Youth Scotland, looked at life for young people in Dumfries and Galloway.

It also found that more than one quarter (27 percent) of participants who had experienced bullying or discrimination said this was because they were LGBT+.

The report, which examined responses from nearly 400 students in the area, went on to reveal that more than six in ten (61 percent) of respondents said that homophobic, biphobic or transphobic language went unchallenged by teachers, staff, friends or other students.

More than six in 10 school pupils say anti-LGBT+ language went unchallenged.

The charity Diversity Role Models runs a workshop on LGBT issues in schools in London.
Children should be taught about LGBT issues, paediatricians told the government. (Diversity Role Models)

This statistic was a 16 percent increase from the previous year.

Kerry Riddell, partnership manager south for LGBT Youth Scotland said: “This research is so useful in helping us to understand the experiences of LGBT young people in Dumfries and Galloway and we’re grateful to the schools who participate.”

However, Riddell added: “The responses from pupils tell us that much more needs to be done to challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language and bullying in D&G schools.”

The publication, titled Life in Dumfries and Galloway for LGBT young people, was published on September 23.

It has been carried out every year since 2016.

The responses from pupils tell us that much more needs to be done to challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language and bullying in D&G schools.

Encouragingly, the research found that more than seven in ten (71 percent) of those surveyed felt comfortable raising LGBT+ issues in class – and that over 70 percent believed their school had an LGBT+ group.

It revealed that more than half (55 percent) said LGBT+ themes were included in the curriculum at their school.

LGBT Youth Scotland backs up previous research on anti-LGBT+ language in school.

The research builds on previous studies on anti-LGBT+ language in British schools.

A 2017 report by Stonewall found that half of LGBT pupils (52 percent) hear homophobic language “frequently” or “often” at school, while more than a third (36 percent) hear biphobic language “frequently” or “often”, and nearly half (46 percent) hear transphobic language “frequently” or “often”.

It further found that the majority of LGBT+ pupils – 86 per cent – had regularly heard phrases such as “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay” in school.

The same report found that nearly half (45 percent) of LGBT+ pupils, including 64 percent of trans students, are bullied in UK schools, according to statistics published by Stonewall in 2017.

More: biphobic, bullying, homophobic, LGBT Youth Scotland, Scotland, transphobic

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