Teachers say schools still full of gay hate

Greater Manchester classroom teachers highlight the homophobic abuse and discrimination experienced by their pupils and colleagues

A survey of 750 teachers is expected to show that the majority still say that homophobic abuse is endemic in Britain’s schools.

The figures will be released later this month (August). The Greater Manchester Prevalence of Homophobia Report 2012 is the result of a campaign by local associations of the National Union of Teachers which surveyed over 750 teaching staff in the Greater Manchester area over the levels of homophobia experienced in the classroom environment.

The launch of the report is to coincide with Manchester Pride and the premiere of the Pink Triangle Theatre’s new play SHOW ONE, TOO! and is hoped it will assist schools in challenging homophobia within the classroom.

Writing in his foreword to the report local Councillor Paul Murphy, chairman of Greater Manchester Police Authority (GMPA), remarks: ‘GMPA is committed to working with the police, local authorities and our partners, including the education sector, together with communities across Greater Manchester to tackle hate crime, which is why we welcome reports like this.

‘The findings from the Greater Manchester Schools Prevalence of Homophobia Survey will help us to strengthen our approach and build on our partnership working so that together we can tackle these issues head on.’

The report has been sponsored by SchoolsOUT, the oldest UK teachers’ organisation campaigning against homophobia and transphobia, who have raised concerns over some of the private companies that have been handed the running of the curriculum through the Academies programme.

In his afterword to the report Professor Ian Rivers of Brunel University, an expert on the long-term effect of child abuse and advisor to the UK and USA governments, said: ‘I am heartened by the fact that the National Union of Teachers in Greater Manchester has taken steps to monitor this issue among its members and remind us of the need for continued vigilance and intervention.

‘In the past, many headteachers and teachers have felt that acknowledging the existence of bullying in schools was an index of failure, it is not.

‘It is only through acknowledging the issue and addressing it face-on that we can hope to make schools safe places to learn for all young people.’

The launch will take place at 7pm on Thursday 23 August at the Three Minute Theatre, Ground Floor, Afflecks Place, Oldham St, M1 1JG.

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