Campaigners demand Holyrood take action to an end to school homophobia, bullying, sexism and bigotry which has become a “national disgrace.”
The TIE (Time for Inclusive Education) campaign will ask the key Public Petitions Committee of Holyrood to ensure that Scotland’s schools foster a nurturing and inclusive environment which would eradicate hate and prejudice directed at LGBTI+ youth.
The campaign also is asking for a curriculum that will seek to inform students and be inclusive for all, “free from racism, sexism and homophobia.”
TIE campaigners will be citing evidence from its publication; including testimonials from people directly affected by the issues that the campaign is raising, and extremely worrying statistics – uncovered by Stonewall Scotland – such as 1 in 4 LGBTI+ pupils in Scottish schools attempting suicide as a result of homophobic bullying, and 54% deliberately and regularly self harming.
To this end the campaign is calling for inclusive LGBTI+ education across all schools in Scotland, prioritising an improvement to teacher training in relation to LGBTI+ issues and for a curriculum that recognises the needs of all students – regardless of sexual orientation – in an effort to tackle homophobia in schools.
Jordan Daly (20), TIE Co-Founder, said: “There are some deeply shocking statistics surrounding this issue – currently, we have 1 in 4 LGBTI+ pupils attempting suicide as a result of homophobic bullying. This is a national disgrace. We hope that the MSPs will acknowledge that the education system – as it is currently – is very much failing LGBTI+ pupils.”
TIE’s publication has been delivered to all 129 MSPs over the last few days in order to give them time to study the campaign’s findings prior to the parliamentary meeting today.
TIE Co-Founder Liam Stevenson (37) said: “We are very encouraged that the committee want to discuss the issues that we have consistently raised throughout our campaign, and we welcome the opportunity to present our evidence to them.”
The TIE campaign has continued to galvanise and attract support from across the social and political landscape in Scotland, with human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar and the SNP Trade Union Group, being the latest to back the movement.
Aamer Anwar said: “For me, there should be no hierarchies in the fight against discrimination, they are all equally valid. The key to creating a 21st Century Scotland society free from racism, sexism and homophobia is the education of our young people so I would urge everyone to support this campaign.”
The SNP Trade Union Group, which represents 16,000 party members, stated that: “Education is essential for equality across society, and with education we can eliminate bigotry by having a more inclusive environment in schools that tackles the attitudes that taint our society. The SNP Trade Union Group intends to be in the vanguard of that struggle and will stand in solidarity with the TIE Campaign to that end.”