The most recent Stonewall school report from Scotland shows incredibly high levels of mental health issues in trans students.
It suggests nearly all (96%) of trans students are self-harming.
‘School Report Scotland’ by Stonewall Scotland and the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge looks at the experiences of over 400 LGBT pupils in Scotland’s schools.
Key figures from the report show:
- Nearly half of LGB pupils (48%) are bullied for being LGBT in Scotland’s schools. This rises to 7 in 10 for trans students.
- LGBT young people in Scotland are more likely to hear homophobic language than the rest of Britain. Here, 6 in 10 hear homophobic slurs ‘regularly’ or ‘often’ – compared to just half in the rest of the UK.
- Young LGBT people in Scotland have alarming rates of poor mental health
It shows that while mental health figures for worse for trans students, three in five LGB young people also self-harm.
Correlating with similar figures globally it also found more than two in five trans young people in Scotland attempt to take their own life. One in four LGB students (24%) have done the same.
‘I’m totally alone and denying who I am’
Of course, comments from the report show the human side of these statistics.
15-year-old Jack who goes to a faith school in Glasgow says:
‘I was constantly shouted at in corridors and things were thrown at me almost every day.’
Lewis from Lothian tells of the daily bullying that they face, ‘I’ve been pushed up against the wall, had jotters stolen, textbooks vandalized, threatening Facebook messages, sexually explicit threats.’
But it’s not just other kids that bully, some teachers are being homophobic and transphobic too. Jesse also from Lothian says: ‘ Because the teachers made fun of trans people I was too scared to tell anyone about it.’
Watch this video as school children read out and react to the comments of the school report:
Can sex education help the situation?
The report also shows two in five LGBT young people in Scottish schools are never taught anything about LGBT issues in school.
Just one in five has heard about safe sex in relation to same-sex relationships.
Stonewall Scotland’s report says this demonstrates ‘the desperate need for age-appropriate LGBT-inclusive Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) in all schools.’
Earlier this year, the Department for Education (DoE), which covers education in England, made sex and relationship (SRE) education mandatory in all secondary schools. It will include age-appropriate relationships education in all primary schools.
However, the government is yet to clarify whether they will include LGBTI narratives.
This year’s National Student Pride focused on SRE and together with Terrance Higgins Trust they called on the government to bring in compulsory LGBTI sex and relationships education.
THT’s Alex Phillips, Policy Lead for Relationships and Sex Education told Gay Star News ‘we must now ensure the content and delivery of SRE benefit all young people wherever they go to school, whatever their sexuality.’