Monday, November 8, 2010

Brody's Notes... Anti-Homophobic Bullying Project Urges British Schools To “Take Action Together"

Andrew Gilliver is Director of Communications for the Manchester, England based L&G Foundation
By Andrew Gilliver (Manchester, UK) NOV 8 | This year’s theme for Anti-Bullying Week is “Taking Action Together”, and Exceeding Expectations Anti-Homophobic Bullying initiative is urging young people, teachers, school staff and parents across Manchester to take action together this Anti-Bullying Week, to eradicate all forms of bullying and to promote understanding.
Throughout November the Exceeding Expectations play OUTLOUD will be in Manchester schools, along with staff training sessions, follow-up workshops, a resource pack – with the OUTLOUD DVD and a range of lesson plans and resources to help support young people and teachers to discuss LGBT issues and challenge homophobic bullying throughout the year.
Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member for Children’s Services at Manchester City Council highlights the importance of the work of Exceeding Expectations:
“Only through effective education can we overcome prejudice of any kind – including homophobia. This is sometimes an issue schools find difficult to address and the work being done through Exceeding Expectations is really valuable and helps greatly with this.”
The Equality & Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) “How Fair is Britain?”report published this October, revealed that two-thirds of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) students in Britain report being bullied, and that nearly half of all secondary schoolteachers in England acknowledge that such bullying is common, and just 1 in 6 believe that their school is very active in promoting respect for LGB students.
The EHRC figures indicate that children in England who reported being bullied did 15% worse at GCSE.
Paul Martin is Chief Executive of The Lesbian & Gay Foundation– one of the Exceeding Expectations partners, he says: 
“These new figures from the EHRC highlight the challenges facing lesbian, gay and bisexual people in schools. It isn’t just lesbian, gay and bisexual young people who are affected by homophobic bullying – it affects their friends, family, and the wider community too.
Over the last four years Exceeding Expectations has made a real change. We’ve worked with thousands of pupils and staff across Manchester to encourage understanding between different communities, challenge homophobia and help make schools a safer and more welcoming place for lesbian, gay and bisexual students, staff and parents.
This Anti-Bullying Week let’s take action together to eradicate all forms of bullying, young people have the right to learn, grow and achieve in a safe and supportive space, so let’s work together to give them every chance."