Homophobic bullying and language are endemic
Almost two thirds of lesbian, gay and bisexual young people say they have experienced homophobic bullying. Nintey-eight per cent say they hear the words 'that's so gay' or 'you're so gay' in school (The School Report). However, school staff often don't recognise homophobic bullying when it happens.
Anyone can experience homophobic bullying
Young people experienc homophobic bullying for being perceived as different and teachers say that homophobic bullying is the most common form of homophobic bullying after bullying because of weight (The Teachers' Report).
The forms of bullying
Anti-bullying policies don’t include homophobic bullying
Even though homophobic bullying is the most common form of bullying after bullying because of weight and three times more prevalent than bullying because of race. (The Teachers’ Report) However, if students are told homophobic bullying is wrong, lesbian, gay and bisexual pupils are 60 per cent less likely to be homophobically bullied. (The School Report)
Homophobic bullying is underreported
Half of secondary school teachers who are aware of homophobic bullying say the vast majority of incidences goes unreported. (The Teachers’ Report) Young lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) people say that if homophobic bullying is reported 62 per cent of the time nothing is done. (The School Report)
School staff don’t feel confident challenging
More than one quarter does not feel confident in supporting a student who wants to come out and 2 in 5 don’t feel confident providing information, advice and guidance on LGB issues. (The Teachers’ Report)
What officers can do
Safer School Partnership Officers, LGBT Liaison Officers, and Partnership Community Officers are in a unique position to