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Help stop homophobic bullying: Petition launch

June 2, 2006 3:46 PM

As part of the Liberal Democrat campaign against homophobic bullying, an online petition has been launched today on the party's main website. Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary, Sarah Teather MP said, "Our petition is calling for all schools to develop measures to tackle homophobic bullying. Taunts and name calling should be challenged immediately so that it's clear such behaviour won't be tolerated.

"Liberal Democrats are concerned about all aspects of bullying but are focusing the spotlight on homophobic abuse because it's currently harder to monitor and stop. Teachers and staff can be victims of this type of harassment in schools as well as pupils. School leaders need to take responsibility for ensuring schools are safe and welcoming environments for everyone - no matter their race, gender or sexuality.

As a former victim of homophobic bullying, Liberal Democrat Higher and Further Education Spokesperson, Stephen Williams MP added:

"Homophobic bullying is a painful issue that too many pupils, teachers and parents have to deal with every day. We want their voices to be heard in the wider debate on how to stamp out all types of bullying in schools.

"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 young gay people and it is difficult for them to know which teacher they can confide in.

"Putting a duty on schools will ensure there is someone for the young person to turn to and will send out a message that homophobic abuse should be treated with the same zero tolerance as racist abuse. Schools should be safe places of learning for all children irrespective of their sexuality."

http://www.libdems.org.uk/campaigns/stop-homophobic-bullying.html

Ways you can help this campaign:

1. Sign the petition yourself.

2. Do you have a blog or website? If so you can mention the campaign - and link through to the petition page.

3. Email people you know about the campaign.