Posted by John Naples-Campbell on May 17, 2010
I was recently very moved by the murder of young gay pupil Jack Frew in a supposedly homophobic attack.
As an openly gay teacher I am fully aware of how young people that I come into contact with on a daily basis use the term ‘gay’ as a synonym for “stupid”/”weird”/”rubbish”, and what makes it worse is that these young people do not understand what is wrong with this.
Teachers need training on how to handle homophbia within the classroom and I was excited to see that ELC were offering a CPD session just on this however I was upset today when I recieved an email saying the session had been cancelled due to ‘lack of interest’. As my kids might say… ‘That’s so gay’. How can we tackle this in schools when staff don’t even want to sign up for a CPD session on this important issue. I am asking the council to make this a compulsary session that all staff must take… will it take another homophobic attack like the one that ended Jack’s life before schools take notice.
I also watched a wonderful documentary that was about Homophobia and looked at recently ‘out’ gay rugby player Gareth Thomas was dealing with being a gay man in a sporting world. You can see it here
This is an issue that is not going to go away and teachers, no matter of religous background, beliefs etc, will need to tackle this as we all need to secure the safety of our children within schools.
I honestly feel and I hope that councils across Scotland will start to do MORE within schools to make gay pupils feel more at ease before any more homophobic attacks happen and a young man or woman looses their life because people think it is ‘wrong’ to be gay.