Gay sexuality must be visible in schools, urges bullying expert

New chair of charity Diversity Role Models says that gay sexuality must be openly visible in schools to prevent homophobic bullying

Gay sexuality must be visible in schools, urges bullying expert
07 August 2012

Simon Blake, the new chair of British charity Diversity Role Models (DRM), says gay sexuality should be more visible in schools.

DRM says making gay sexuality an open topic in schools helps stop homophobic bullying. The charity wants to educate young people on differences in sexuality and how to understand, welcome and accept differences before bullying begins.

‘We need openness in the playground, in the classroom and in the behavior of teachers’, says Blake.

‘People have different personal beliefs about sex and sexuality, but the law is clear about gay sexuality. It is vital in a modern society that young people learn bullying is wrong and that diversity is not something to be afraid of.

Schools should be teaching what the law is, what people think about sexuality and how young people can protect themselves.’

DRM believes in communicating with students directly, using positive role models to counter negative stereotypes and help LGBT youths feel confident while enabling their classmates to better empathize with them.

Outgoing chair Jean Balfour is positive about DRM’s impact on youths, despite the charity having only been in existance for less than a year.

‘We are changing attitudes and that is reducing the impact of prejudice on youngsters’, she said.

Blake has previously established Anti-Bullying Week as a leader of the Anti-Bullying Alliance, and has been a key advisor on what UK schools call ‘personal and sexual health education’ since the 1990s.

He was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2011 for services to the voluntary sector and young people.

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