One in Five Gay Pupils Suffers from Bullying at School
Bullying can make school an unpleasant and difficult time for any student, but recently it has come to light that an alarming number of gay children suffer some form of bullying while they are at school. To make matters worse, teachers and other adults at the school are said to be one of the biggest culprits, with one in five gay teenagers suffering bullying at their hands.
The Boys Who Like Boys survey obtained some rather alarming results: 55 percent of those surveyed had said they had experienced bullying because of their sexual orientation, and a staggering 99 percent claimed they had been targeted by another pupil. The biggest cause for concern was that 39 percent of the bullying had taken place at the hands of either a teacher or another adult.
“The idea that teachers or other adults at school are sometimes responsible for bully and discrimination is utterly unacceptable,” said Deborah Gold, the chief executive of the National Aids Trust. “It’s a worryingly high enough statistic that you’d want to find out how that is impacting on young people.”
Brit and Grammy award winner Sam Smith has also gone on record and revealed he too was a victim of bullying. Speaking with the Sun newspaper, Sam said: “When I moved to London I got punched in the neck walking from work. It was definitely homophobic”.
He opted to be open about his sexuality at only 11 years old, and while he was well supported and accepted by both family and friends, he didn’t away so lightly at school.
“I remember walking to the station getting F*****t shouted at me all the time,” said Sam, who has enjoyed the success of numerous hit singles, including Stay with Me and Lay me Down.
His experiences were largely echoed by James Hanson, a member of the public, who hails from south-west London, “When I was 14, I was outed by one of my best friends” said James. “People wouldn’t want to partner with me in class. There was constant name-calling. It was such a traumatising time that I ended up going back in the closet for many years.”
A Department of Education spokesperson assured that they were aware of the issues plaguing schools, and trying their best to tackle it. “It not only affects young people’s happiness and achievement at school, but can have severe consequences for their mental health,” began the statement.
“That’s why we made tackling homophobic bullying a priority in the Coalition Agreement. We’re pleased that teachers are now reporting lower rates of homophobic bullying compared to give years ago and greater confidence in tackling this bullying.”
The DfE has also announced a further £2 million fund to support projects to combat gay bullying in schools.