Thursday, October 14, 2010

EHRC Report Reveals extent of Homophobia in schools

The much publicised Equalities and Human Rights Commission’s latest report How Fair is Britain? reveals that LGBT young people still face “unfair treatment and bullying in the education system.” and that “Education-related inequalities have an impact over the life-span, not just in childhood”.

The report, released on Monday the 11th of October, states that two-thirds of lesbian, gay and bisexual students are being bullied. It acknowledged that there is a difficulty in measuring trans pupil bullying levels currently. It acknowledges that, “The experience of school life can be traumatic for some”. It adds that, “It appears that those who are bullied are more likely to be outside of education, employment or training at 16 years of age”.

Schools OUT co-chair Tony Fenwick said: “I wish I could describe this report as revealing shocking statistics, but the reality is that any LGBT person in the land and anyone who works in our schools is perfectly aware that this is the case and the EHRC’s findings will surprise no one”.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) findings follow the TSN/TES Report on homophobic bullying, which revealed that it was rife in 2006. The Stonewall School Report revealed that it was rife and largely unchallenged in 2007. The NUT Prevalence of Homophobia Surveys, started in 2008 and ongoing, which can be found on the Schools OUT website, show that homophobic bullying is endemic. GIRES research reveals that transphobic bullying is also endemic and that it is reported less because trans pupils are relatively rare. However there is thought to be at least one trans pupil in every 100 in our schools.

Fellow Schools OUT co-chair Sue Sanders added: “With this essential information from an independent body we have more tools – as if we need them – to persuade the nay-sayers and deniers everywhere that we are failing our LGBT children and that this failure reduces their life chances and their potential contribution to our society and the economy.

“With this and the fact that ten LGBT pupils in the USA have killed themselves in the first month of the autumn term, we surely have more evidence than anyone needs to say that this is the time to take on the challenge and eradicate homophobia in our schools.”

No comments: