Previously I ran a blog called So What Squad alongside this one, but time constraints meant I needed to fine tune my social media presence, so I am moving all the posts over to this blog. This is the third of six posts.
Below is a letter I sent out in the school newletter about tackling homophobia at our school and informing parents of the existence of the SoWhat Squad. I was expecting some parental backlash given our parents. I never heard a negative comment. It was brilliant! Feel free to amend adapt for your parents.
Anti-Bullying work at XXXX
XXXXX is actively working on an anti-bullying project to update our anti-bullying policy and to raise awareness of bullying and its unacceptability. We’re combating all forms of bullying, and wish to educate pupils on specific issues one by one. We’ve chosen initially to specifically focus on homophobic bullying because we’ve observed a significant number of incidents in the school and schools now have a legal duty to ensure homophobic bullying is dealt with (Education and Inspections Act 2006).
Homophobic language such as “that’s so gay” has now become commonplace and this is propagating a culture of homophobia within schools. Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of young lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) pupils will have experienced direct bullying within school however in schools that have said homophobic bullying is wrong, LGB young people are 60 per cent less likely to have been bullied.
As a school we have adopted the stance that homophobic bullying is unacceptable in our school. We are also establishing a zero-tolerance approach to homophobia and homophobic language. Since we started this we have noted a reduction in the use of homophobic language and a raised student awareness of its unacceptability. We are also developing curriculum opportunities within PSHE and Citizenship that examine this issue. In addition a student group has been established to help combat discrimination amongst peers and to provide a safe space for LGB students at the school.
If you would like to find out more please visit the school website where further information about homophobic bullying is available or contact the following members of staff who have been working on this project: XXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXX XXXXXX