Monday, July 02, 2007

Government fails gay children in 'faith schools'

Gay children in "faith schools" have been badly let down by the government, says the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association.

Schools with a religious ethos were given permission in recent guidance on equality legislation to continue condemning gay people and expressing disapproval of homosexuality. Now, the new survey from Stonewall, 'The experiences of young gay people in Britain's Schools', shows that pupils in "faith schools" are taking the brunt of the widespread homophobic bullying that is happening in all our schools.

Jim Herrick, chairman of GALHA, said: "This new survey from Stonewall paints a horrific picture of nasty victimisation of gay children in our schools, and it seems to be even worse in so-called faith schools. This makes it all the more unfortunate that the Government recently told these schools that they did not have to tone down their condemnation of homosexuality. In effect, they have abandoned gay kids in these schools – particularly Catholic schools – to the mercies of any homophobe who decides he doesn't  like gay people. This survey indicates that the Government has made a very grave error by permitting faith schools to continue their nasty, homophobic teachings. We recognise that homophobic bullying cannot be stopped  overnight, but bringing faith schools into line would give out a clear signal that such bullying is unacceptable and won't be tolerated."


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