A new report from the NSPCC published this week shows that one in four calls to ChildLine are as a result of homophobic bullying.
Every month, NSPCC service ChildLine counsels more than 3,000 young people about bullying - and they have reported this week that homophobic bullying is quoted in a 23% of all calls to the service. Young people featured in the research indicate that too many teachers do nothing about homophobic bullying, and many young people fear telling their parents. Those counselled by ChildLine about homophobic bullying report feeling extremely lonely and isolated and feel that they have no where else to turn.
DELGA Chair Kelvin Meyrick commented, "The comments we have had from people who have signed our Stop Homophobic Bullying petition already underline what the NSPCC report shows - that even in the era of Civil Partnerships and with Section 28 thankfully consigned to the dustbin of history, we still need direct action to tackle homophobia in schools."
Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary, Sarah Teather MP said:"Homophobic bullying is an issue for the whole school, not just for a victimised minority. Parents must feel confident that their child will be safe.
"The Liberal Democrats have launched a campaign to highlight the issue of homophobic bullying this year and welcome Childline's championing of this cause. More must be done to make school a safe place for all children, no matter what their sexuality.
"Government guidance must be changed immediately to require schools to log incidences of homophobic bullying so it is properly monitored and tackled. This is an issue that blights the lives of hundreds if not thousands of pupils every single day.
"Homophobic taunts and name-calling in schools must be challenged immediately by staff and all schools' anti-bullying policies should be required specifically to include measures to deal with homophobic bullying."
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