Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stonewall's The Teachers' Report - Homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools -was published yesterday. Their Report deals with homophobia and homophobic bullying in primary and secondary school settings. Other than an investigative piece in The Guardian, so far there has been little interest in the findings of the YouGov survey upon which the Stonewall report is based. The BBC has not bothered with it and, as expected, it hasn't been mentioned by Newsround.

According to the Report, nine in ten secondary school teachers and more than two in five primary school teachers say children and young people, regardless of their sexual orientation, currently experience homophobic bullying, name calling or harassment in their schools. Three quarters of primary school teachers and 95% of secondary school teachers have heard the phrases 'you’re so gay' or 'that’s so gay' in their schools.

How does the BBC help perpetuate homophobic prejudice?

A relevant article by Simon Edge is to be found on pages 108-111 of March 2009's GT magazine. Simon is annoyed at the BBC, which he says is one of Britain's last great bastions of homophobia. His article, called Turned Off in homage to Stonewall's 2006 Tuned Out report (blog 28 February 2006), is a damning indictment of the Corporation. Simon goes into detail about the BBC's attitude to diversity, and ends by questioning the Corporation's coverage of Michael Causer's murder.

Simon Edge: Why didn’t they broadcast anything about Michael Causer?

I’m referred to press officer number five, who asks if anyone is accusing the BBC of homophobia over this. "Yes," I tell him: "both Peter Tatchell and Ben Summerskill, in a rare outbreak of unanimity." He will have to get back to me. And he does. But this time he doesn’t even have a written statement. Will any non-homophobic news editor explain why Causer’s murder mattered less than that of every other teenager killed last summer?

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