Responding to the Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission Education Equality Officer Gavin Boyd said:

‘It is wrong for the Chief Commissioner to put the onus on victims of bullying. A survey carried out by The Rainbow Project shows that 75% of LGB young people who have been homophobically bullied do not report it to school authorities. They do not believe that their school will take their complaint seriously. Of those who did report bullying, 59% reported that their school did not take the complaint seriously or took no action at all.’

He added, ‘Bob Collins’ claims, that young people should rely on legislation that only 7% of young LGB people have been taught about is unacceptable. Individual complaints only deal with individual issues and do not address the serious inadequacies that allow for homophobia within our schools. The Equality Commission should be working to ensure homophobia is eradicated from our schools, not to ensure that individual victims are responsible for addressing their individual complaints.

‘All pupils, regardless of their sexual orientation, have a right to feel safe and respected in their school and schools have an obligation to ensure that they respect the dignity of all pupils.’

The report Left out of the Equation will be launched on Wednesday 12 October at 3.15 pm in the VIP Suite, Waterfront Hall. All media are invited

 The Curriculum Guide will be launched at 4.30pm in the VIP Suite, with opening remarks from Mr John O’Dowd MLA, Acting deputy First Minister and Minister for Education. All media are invited

 The key findings of the report Left out of the Equation are:

  • Homophobic language and bullying are prevalent in schools across Northern Ireland with 98% of LGB young people reporting hearing homophobic language in school from pupils, teachers, non-teaching staff and visitors to schools.
  • 72% of survey respondents reported that when teachers heard homophobic language, they ignored it.
  • 94% of survey respondents reported that they were taught nothing in sexual health education which was relevant to them as an LGB person.

 The full report ‘Left Out of the Equation’ can be viewed at http://www.rainbow-project.org/assets/publications/left%20out%20of%20the%20equation.pdf

For information regarding the report Left Out Of The Equation please contact:

Gavin Boyd

T: 02890319030

M: 07883945157

E: gavin@rainbow-project.org

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