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Taking it to the Lords

May 26, 2006 11:52 AM

An amendment to the Education and Inspections Bill, proposed by the Liberal Democrats, tackling homophobic bullying was not debated or voted upon at yesterday's report stage and third reading. The proposed new clause, seeking to impose a statutory duty on schools to implement policies to tackle homophobic bullying, was not debated because other aspects of the Bill used up all the scheduled time.

Commenting Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary, Sarah Teather MP said: "Gay pupils and teachers have just as much right to feel safe and secure in their schools as everyone else.

"It is very frustrating that we were not even allowed time to discuss our clause to tackle homophobic bullying in schools, but we will not be deterred from raising it again in the House of Lords.

"The tragedy of homophobic bullying is the sense of isolation it can create for its victim. If a pupil is bullied because of race, looks or a disability they are likely to at least have supportive parents. This is often not the case for gay teens and it is difficult for them to know which teacher they can confide in.

"We will continue our campaign to make it a duty for schools to have a bullying plan that specifically tackles homophobic bullying and will work to raise awareness of the issue outside Parliament."