MPs target homophobic bullies

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Gay charity Stonewall welcomed a motion by the Liberal Democrats to combat homophobic bullying in schools this month, which has already been signed by a cross section of MPs from the main political parties.

Lib Dem Shadow Education Secretary Sarah Teather put forward an Early Day Motion to Parliament pushing for “anti-bullying policies in all schools to include measures specifically to deal with homophobic bullying, and training for at least one member of staff in how to tackle homophobic bullying.”

It comes after The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone and Stonewall launched The ‘Spell it out’ campaign to combat homophobic bullying in the capital’s schools.

Stonewall’s executive director Ben Summerskill, told The Pink News, “I am absolutely delighted that so many MPs are supporting the EDM and that this important issue is making headway in the political domain, we will do our best to ensure it stays there.”

Ms Teather said: “If a head teacher or staff members are homophobic themselves there is little chance of the school pro-actively addressing the problem.

Often though it is not bigotry but ignorance, indifference or fear of not having the skills to talk about the issue to pupils.”

The EDM follows a petition on the Liberal Democrat website which was signed by around 2000 users, who have now been encouraged to lobby their MPs.

Since the petition the Government has awarded Stonewall with a tender to produce guidance on tackling homophobic bullying in all schools

This article first appeared in the August issue of The Pink News which is out now