Bullying of lesbian, gay, bi or trans young people remains a major issue in many schools, affecting students’ well-being, performance and attendance.
Attacks such as the one in Greater Manchester earlier this week – in a which a trans student was shot with a BB gun – are abhorrent and our thoughts are with the student and her family.
Although reports suggesting we have worked with this school are untrue, a huge part of our work is to help all schools become safer, more inclusive places to learn and develop, and we would be very keen to work with this school in the future.
Trans students are particularly vulnerable. Studies show that three quarters of trans young people have experienced name-calling and 28 per cent have experienced physical attacks.
A further 27 per cent of trans young people have attempted suicide.
Celebrating difference and tackling transphobic bullying is crucial to making all children feel welcome.
Stonewall currently works with more than 1,000 schools across Britain to tackle bullying, giving teachers the confidence to spot anti-LGBT language and abuse and tackle it head on.
We also regularly arrange school visits from inspiring lesbian, gay, bi and trans role models who talk to pupils about their experiences of growing up LGBT.
Celebrating difference and tackling transphobic bullying is crucial to making all children feel welcome, and enabling them to learn how to accept others for who they are.
However, achieving this goal is made harder by people who insist on questioning and debating the existence of trans people.
Incidents like this demonstrate how damaging these debates can be, and the effects they can have.
The only debate we need to have is about what support trans children are currently receiving, and whether more needs to be done.
This recent example of horrific bullying is arguably a clear indication that there is definitely more that needs to be done and our work will continue until everyone in the school environment feels accepted without exception