Mar 11, 2008
Quickie Link: Homophobic Abuse Endemic in Schools
(UK) - Homophobic abuse is endemic in schools, with "Gay" now the most common put-down by pupils in the classroom, teachers say. A "conspiracy of silence" in schools and colleges means homophobia is now seen as so normal that some teachers believe they risk disrupting classes - and making themselves a target of abuse - if they challenge students' behaviour. More than 70% of teachers have heard put-downs in their school or college that refer to sexuality, according to a survey of 268 teachers by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. In particular, teachers report that pupils routinely use the term "Gay" in a pejorative manner. Nearly two-thirds of teachers and lecturers have heard homophobic language on a regular basis. A quarter encountered it several times a week and about 16% of them daily. Boys are significantly more likely to talk about sexuality in a bullying way, but half of teachers have seen girls do the same and nearly 12% said they had seen similar behaviour in the staffroom.