September 23, 2007

UK Schools Receive Official Guidance in Dealing With Bullying

Instead of acting like the problem doesn't exist or that it is the victims' fault, as so often happens in the United States, schools in the United Kingdom received some official guidance in how to prevent GLBT kids from getting bullied and how to react when it does happen.

From PinkNews:

The Department for Children, Families and Schools has issued guidance to schools in England and Wales on how to tackle homophobic bullying.

The new guidance from the government gives teachers, head teachers, school governors and support staff practical advice on how to recognise, prevent and respond to homophobic language and physical abuse.

It follows on from Stonewall's wide-ranging study into homophobic bullying published in June this year, entitled The School Report.

Nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of homopbobic harassment.

That figure jumps to 75% of young gay people attending faith schools.

The survey of more than 1,100 young people found that only 23% of all UK schools explicitly condemn homophobic bullying.

92% of gay, lesbian and bisexual pupils have experienced verbal abuse, 41% physical bullying and 17% have been subject to death threats.

30% of pupils reported that adults have been responsible for incidents of homophobic bullying in their schools.

That's a bad mix; 41% of GLBT kids victimized by physical bullying but only 23% of UK schools condemning it. It is also sickening that the worst percentage is in "faith schools." Not surprising, but still very disturbing. Just how does faith tie in with bullying a gay kid? I don't quite get the connection.

Kudos to the British government for stepping up and taking steps to get this situation under control.

Anybody in Washington paying attention?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for reporting this story. I have been shocked at the reports of bullying I hear from UK schools and how closeted so many of the gay and lesbian teachers live for fear of all sorts of troubles. In some ways the UK is much more advanced with their LGBT rights than the US but the schools are still reeling from some very bad legislation in the past that still leaves a legacy of fear and intolerance.