It’s easier than you think to encourage kids to #getoverit

*Very quick post from me as erm somebody *should* be finishing off a masters (in challenging homophobia in schools) which is due in imminently!*

Today Stonewall and Mumsnet have launched a new campaign to encourage kids to #getoverit

Sometimes people object to challenging homophobic language as “language evolves” or “its endemic”, and therefore it “isn’t worth it/too much effort to challenge”.  These responses don’t actually justify any lack of response from teachers, especially given the effect continually hearing such language can have on lesbian, gay or bisexual young people.

From my experience challenging homophobic language in schools, it snowballs very very rapidly. In no time at all you get kids challenging themselves and each other for using “that’s so gay”. They just need to be challenged to think about the language they use and how it might affect people. Most children and young people are not homophobic, they just use popular language without thinking about the impact.

Teachers- challenge them, get them to think about the impact, set off that snowball and watch it avalanche into a transformed school culture.

P.S True Story- I once had one student slap her hand over her own mouth so hard when she said “that’s so gay” she hurt herself! Ooops! it had become an ingrained habit to her but one she really wanted to stop. That student is now an awesome teacher herself (and makes me feel very old!). As far as I know she would challenge homophobic language in her classes too. So erm teachers- do it for this generation- do it for the next generation. Just blimming do it!

Mumsnet sex ed survey- The results

I didn’t have time to do a proper post on this when it first came out, but whilst doing some housekeeping on the blog I found the draft post so I shall quickly finish it and post it.

Mumsnet did a survey of their members about sex and relationships education back in November 2011 and the results came back with overwhelming support for SRE which is really positive. Admittedly Mumsnet is not the voice of ALL parents but nevertheless I was really heartened by the results, parents are often a lot more supportive of SRE than the media and government usually give them credit for thanks to the tiny minority of vociferously anti-sex education types who seem to have the ear of the media and certain MP’s.

The survey revealed just how supportive Mumsnet members are of comprehensive sex education.

  • A very high proportion (98%) were happy for their children to attend SRE lessons
  • 92% think SRE should be a compulsory subject in secondary schools
  • 69% think SRE should be a compulsory subject in primary schools
  • 90% think there should be a statutory duty on all schools, including faith schools and academies, to deliver comprehensive SRE

So although I am posting this several months later, I am just adding it as a gentle reminder for us parents to show their support for their schools SRE , to show the media and the government that parents want this for our children and to support those delivering it in our schools.