Tuesday , 25 June 2019

Michael Russell: an inclusive tolerant Scotland starts at school

Leeze Lawrence interviews Michael Russell
Leeze Lawrence interviews Michael Russell

In an exclusive video-interview KaleidoScot reporter, Leeze Lawrence, interviews Michael Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, on how the Scottish Government intends to tackle homophobia in school.

The interview with Russell follows Colin MacFarlane’s, director of Stonewall Scotland, call for the Scottish government to take action and tackle LGBTI bullying in schools following a report that reveals how teachers feel unable to act to prevent it.

The report published last week showed that teachers are still failing to tackle homophobic bullying in Scotland’s schools.

The Teachers’ Report 2014 reveals that nine in ten primary school staff (89 per cent) and more than four in five secondary school staff (83 per cent) have not received any specific training on now to tackle homophobic bullying.

Lawrence therefore raised some of the issues highlighted in the report and by MacFarlane with the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.

Russell agreed that the Scottish government needs to do more to tackle, specifically, anti-LGBTI bullying.

“We want to see an inclusive tolerant Scotland and the place to start getting that is in our schools.”

The Secretary for Education said he would speak with Stonewall Scotland regarding CPD.

“We will have an absolute clarity, that bullying is wrong and prejudice is wrong.”

Russell also said that monitoring of anti-LGBTI bullying needs to be built in as part of school inception and he “would have a word “ regarding the matter with Education Scotland.”

Watch the full interview here:

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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