New website supports parents worried about homophobic bullying

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A national charity has launched a website for parents concerned about bullying with the message “you are not alone.”

Parentline Plus’s new social networking site,, has a section on bullying issues that arise because of sexuality.

“The site aims to enable parents who have concerns about bullying both within and outside school to share experiences with each other and support each other, as well as enabling people to access support from Parentline Plus,” the charity said.

“With almost two thirds of gay pupils in British school experiencing homophobic bullying, this is a resource that will support their parents, and help them to access the help their child will need.”

The website, which is part of the charity’s “Be Someone To Tell” anti-bullying campaign funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, also includes real life case studies of people’s different experiences of dealing with bullying.

Parentline Plus runs a free confidential, 24-hour Parentline 0808 800 2222, and answers 120,000 calls a year.

The website, which will include a message board where parents will be able to share experiences and support each other, is set out in terms of school years, teenagers and young adults to help parents navigate their way round and find relevant information and support more easily.

Parentline Plus acting Chief Executive Lucy Edington said:

“As a parent, one of the last things you want to find out is that your child is being bullied or is bullying others – it can be a daunting subject to come to terms with and to tackle.

“We want to send a strong message to parents who may be in these situations that they are not alone and they can access help and support from the parents here at Parentline Plus and also from other parents via our messageboards at our new social networking website”

Stonewall’s wide-ranging study into homophobic bullying, entitled The School Report, was published in June 2007.

It found that nearly two thirds of LGB students reported instances of homophobic harassment.

That figure jumps to 75% of young gay people attending faith schools.

The survey of more than 1,100 young people found that only 23% of all UK schools explicitly condemn homophobic bullying.

92% of gay, lesbian and bisexual pupils have experienced verbal abuse, 41% physical bullying and 17% have been subject to death threats.

30% of pupils reported that adults have been responsible for incidents of homophobic bullying in their schools.

Nearly every interviewed student had heard phrases like, ‘You’re so gay’, and remarks like ‘poof’ and ‘dyke’ in UK schools.

In response the government produced the first ever national guidance from the government to help schools tackle homophobic bullying.

It was launched by Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, in January.