Homophobia at school
Our school years help shape us into the people we become.
We learn valuable lessons on how to interact with people, and we form opinions and behaviours that will stay with us for years. This means that often, homophobic attitudes can begin at school.
Young LGB people, who may still be dealing with coming to terms with their sexuality, are much more likely to be the victims of homophobic hate crime at school, at youth clubs, at home and on the street.
Negative use of the word ‘gay’ is the most common form of homophobia in our schools. Children see and hear it being used in the media, and by their friends.
What can be done
It’s essential that teachers and carers identify and stop any homophobic behaviour they witness before it escalates – no matter how small or insignificant it may appear.
The views of young people, their parents and their carers about homophobic incidents can be gathered and schools should be actively encouraged to collect information on any homophobic incident they are made aware of, or are witness too.
By law, schools, colleges and youth clubs HAVE to protect young people from abuse, aggression and harmful or uncomfortable behaviour such as homophobic bullying. Every school, college and youth club should be a safe and welcoming space for all students.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a letter template that you can send to your school asking them what they are doing to tackle homophobia and to ensure they have got a zero tolerance policy on homophobic bullying.