The shocking reality of LGBTI+ experiences in Scottish schools revealed

Time for Inclusive Education campaigners expose Scottish Parliament to appalling statistics and testimony regarding school age children

THE Time for Inclusive Education campaign (Tie) for LGBTI+ education has distributed a pamphlet to all 129 MSPs in the Scottish Parliament as part of a presentation to the public petitions committee.

Tie is campaigning for an LGBTI+ inclusive education which presents a broad spectrum of human suxualities to pupils and adresses the needs and issues of LGBTI+ students, to be made statutory in Scottish schools.

The pamphlet represents the culmination of months of research, activism, and testimony sent from every corner of the country, particularly from LGBTI+ youth who have experienced bullying and abuse because of their sexuality.

The pamphlet also contains support from campaigners and shocking statistics regarding the obstacles faced by LGBTI+ youth in Scotland's schools.

CommonSpace presents some of the information from the pamphlet.

Statistics

Among LGBTI+ school students:

52 per cent have suffered homophobic bullying.

14 per cent have left school because of homophobic bullying.

26 per cent (one in four) have attempted suicide because of homophobic bullying.

54 per cent self-harm.

88 per cent of trans youth feel their education was negatively impacted by bullying.

42 per cent of trans youth left education because of bullying.

Testimony

Lee Martin : "During my school life, from primary six to fourth year at secondary, I was constantly bullied for being gay. I would get called names such as 'poof', 'faggot' and 'queer'.

"I was punched, kicked and pushed. It was a very dark time. I would skip school by pretending to be sick."

Janey Spy : "I was pressured to hide my sexuality and relationship in public (no holding hands, no romantic talk and absolutely no kissing) for fear of being attacked. Any time my girlfriend and I broke one of these rules we had abuse shouted at us and worse, intimidating threats by men to 'fix us' with rape.

"When I went to college, my first experience of the education system as a teenager, I wasn't bullied by the other students, but by one of my tutors."

Sean Quinn : "Growing up, I was deathly afraid of my sexuality. I knew there were gay and lesbian people, but I was still frightened of the reaction I'd get to coming out. I went to Catholic schools with pretty cursory sex education which was focussed on straight relationships."

Anonymous : "I myself have not came out to everyone in my school. The 'popular' boys in my year will make remarks about me and how my other friends are either bi, lesbian or gay and how we want each other. It honestly doesn't bother me because I can deal with it and don't really care what other people think of me or see me as but I know that it hurts some of my friends especially my best friend who has been made fun of his whole life for being feminine.

"Being called gay is a natural occurrence in classes but the teachers don't say anything about it. There has even been a time where me and my two best friends - who are boys (both of whom have been taunted for being effeminate) - asked if we could leave class to go finish an art project. A boy who sat right beside the teacher said 'they're probably just away to go fuck each other under the stairs' and not a single thing was said to him by the teacher."

Picture courtesy of ryan melaugh