3 BBC backs Moyles over 'gay' phrase The word "gay" now means "lame" or "rubbish" among young people and need not be offensive to homosexuals, the BBC Board of Governors has ruled. A complaint against Radio 1 presenter Chris Moyles after he dismissed a ringtone by saying, "I don't want that one, it's gay", was rejected by a committee of the Board of Governors. The word "gay", in addition to being used to mean "homosexual" or "carefree", was often now used to mean "lame" or "rubbish", the committee said in a ruling. This is widespread current usage of the word among young people, they said.
What is homophobic bullying? Homophobic bullying occurs when bullying is motivated by a prejudice against lesbian, gay or bisexual people. Every child in every school has the right to learn free from the fear of bullying, whatever form that bullying may take. Safe To Learn: Homophobic Bullying 4
Who experiences homophobic bullying? 5 Young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans- gender (LGBT) Young people who are thought to be LGBT Young people who are different in some way – they may not act like other boys or girls Young people who have gay friends or family, or their parents / carers are gay Teachers who may or may not be lesbian, gay or bisexual
Who does the bullying? 6 Anyone, especially if they haven't been told that it’s wrong People who think being gay is “wrong” People who may be gay themselves and are angry about that People who think gay people shouldn’t have the same rights as heterosexual people People who think gay parenting is wrong and pupils should be treated differently because of it
How to recognise homophobic bullying Verbal abuse – inc. spreading rumours, suggesting that someone is inferior e.g. “those trainers are so gay”. Physical abuse – inc. hitting, punching, kicking, sexual assault, and threatening behaviour. Cyberbullying – using on-line spaces to spread rumours about someone or exclude them. This can include text messaging, video and picture messaging. 7
THE IMPACT OF HOMOPHOBIC BULLYING ON PUPILS 8 Poor attendance with studies showing a high degree of absenteeism Seven out of ten young lesbian and gay people say homophobic bullying affects their work Low self-esteem, increased likelihood of self-harm and the contemplation of suicide Unlikely to fulfil the objectives of Every Child Matters or Youth Matters
Absenteeism and educational achievement 9 72% of young people who experience homophobic bullying have a history of absenteeism The majority of these young people leave school at age 16, regardless of academic qualifications ‘I was asked to leave my school for my own safety. I never got to sit my GCSEs and would have loved to.’
Emotional health and wellbeing 10 A UK survey into the long-term effects of homophobic bullying found that, of LGB adults who had been bullied at school: 53% had contemplated self-harm or suicide 40% had made at least one attempt to self-harm 30% had made two or more attempts.
11 At my previous school we had just come out of sex education… it was all about straights. I was close to this one teacher so I told her that I like girls instead of boys. She replied, ‘Don’t be silly of course you don’t like girls, you will find a nice boy soon – girls don’t like girls.’ Alice, aged 15
Why don’t young people often tell an adult that it is happening to them? Hard to identify because it may be going on in secret. Three in five gay pupils never tell anyone (either at home or school) when they are being bullied. 12
Can it happen in primary schools? 13 3 out of 4 primary age children identify the use of the word gay as a way of attacking or making fun of someone Yes. Pupils may not know what the words mean, but can use homophobic language against others as form of bullying. Or, they may bully a pupil who has gay parents/carers or family members.
Why should schools do anything about it? 14 “ Schools have a legal duty to ensure homophobic bullying is dealt with in schools. Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, head teachers, with the advice and guidance of governors and the assistance of school staff, must identify and implement measures to promote good behaviour, respect for others and self-discipline amongst pupils, and to prevent all forms of bullying. This includes the prevention of homophobic bullying. ” DCSF Safe to Learn: Homophobic Bullying Executive Summary Sec. 6
RELEVANT LAW + GUIDANCE 15 Human Rights Act 1998 The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 Anti Social Behaviour Act 2003 Education and Inspections Act 2006 The Equality Act 2006 Every Child Matters Youth Matters
EVERY CHILD MATTERS 16 Those pupils who may be experiencing homophobic bullying will not be able to meet the outcomes Every Child Matters requires: Being healthy: Young people Being healthy Staying safe Enjoying and achieving Achieving economic well-being Making a positive contribution Youth Matters – part of Every Child Matters
LAW AND GUIDANCE 17 The School Report 2007 Safe To Learn suite of materials + Bullying – A Charter for Action Sex and Relationship Education Guidance Ofsted Self-Evaluation forms The Children’s Plan Healthy Schools Anti-Bullying Guidance for Schools Transphobic Bullying – Home Office 2008
CREATING AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT 18 Acknowledge and identify the problem of bullying Develop polices which recognise the existence of homophobic bullying Promote a positive social environment Address staff training needs Provide information and support for pupils
CREATE AN INCLUSIVE ENVIRONMENT 19 Include addressing bullying, including homophobic bullying, in curriculum planning Feel able to use outside expertise Encourage role models Do not make assumptions Celebrate achievements
How should your school respond to homophobic bullying? 20 Ofsted guidelines: ‘swift, proportionate, discreet, influential and effective’. Instil confidence that issues will be dealt with systematically. Pupils reluctant to report incidents of homophobic bullying need to be encouraged Strategies implemented to safeguard pupils against physical abuse - same strategies apply when motivated by homophobic bullying.
Responding to homophobic bullying and challenging comments 21 Important that staff responses are in line with Ofsted guidelines, “swift, proportionate, discreet, influential and effective”. Homophobic language 1. Ensure pupils aware that homophobic language not acceptable, ensure included in policies and procedures 2. If pupil makes persistent remarks, they should be removed from the classroom and made aware in more detail why their comments are unacceptable 3. If problem persists, involve senior managers and apply sanctions Consider inviting parents/carers to school to discuss attitude of the pupil
Responding to physical bullying in secondary schools 22 Pupils may be reluctant to report physical attacks involving homophobic bullying because they fear staff will assume they are gay even if they are not. Overarching strategies implemented to safeguard pupils might be appropriate, e.g. working with other agencies, including if necessary the police. Homophobic violence can be a crime. Policies should be rigorously enforced in order to keep pupils safe from physical abuse. In particularly severe circumstances the school should consider permanent exclusion.
PREVENTION 23 Prevention should be central focus of school’s work to tackle homophobic bullying since taking steps to prevent bullying makes it easier to respond to incidents when they occur. Ensure relevant policies exist, check that homophobic bullying included in AB policy. Raise awareness of what homophobic bullying is and how school will respond. Ensure effective reporting systems are in place.
Prevention continued 24 Assess and monitor the extent of homophobic bullying through anonymous staff and pupil surveys, and methods like bullying boxes. Evaluate responses received and ensure consistent recording and reporting. Make use of curriculum opportunities in order to instil respect for others. Develop effective intervention strategies. Provide sensitive support to lesbian and gay pupils to help them feel safe, and able to tell teachers about incidents.
SAFE TO LEARN 25 Homophobic bullying should be addressed in school by: - Including it in the school’s anti-bullying policy - Covering it in INSET days - Guaranteeing confidentiality - Challenging homophobic language - Exploring issues of diversity and difference - Exploring pupils’ understanding of the use of homophobic language
Opportunities within the curriculum 26 Behaviour and Attendance Strategy SEAL Healthy Schools PSHE Assemblies Story times
Tackling homophobic bullying in schools Leadership, management and managing change Policy development Curriculum planning and resourcing, inc working with external agencies Teaching and learning School culture and environment Giving pupils a voice Provision of pupils support services Staff professional development needs, health and welfare Partnerships with parents, carers and the community Assessing, recording and reporting achievement 27
Culture and environment 28 Staff handbook School documentation Recruitment information Induction programmes Inclusive policies Whole staff training + support Environment
Leadership, Management and Managing Change 29 SDP Agendas Training
Talking about homosexuality 31 Not the same as talking about sex!!! Talk about relationships, families and emotions Discuss in context of bullying and name-calling KS1 and 2 Multiple identities The media
Coming out! 32 Timing / age Offer validation and support Reassurance Confidentiality policy Support services