Yesterday (Wednesday 30th March) my motion welcoming the Time For Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign was passed at full council with thoughtful, supportive contributions from across the council chamber.
In terms of LGBT+ equality Scotland is considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe.
Although from a legislative level this is true I think we would all acknowledge that it’s not always reflected in our society. We have come a long way and there is much to be rightly proud not least the way that political parties and civic society united to improve equality with Equal marriage for example but there is no denying there is still a lot to do.
Despite our progress the day to day experience of many of our young LGBT people can be radically different from that of their peers and homophobic and transphobic bullying blights lives.
In 2014 Stonewall Scotlands “Scotland’s Schools report” contained the following shocking statistics:
- 52% of LGBT+ youth have experienced direct homophobic bullying in schools
- 26% have attempted suicide as a result of homophobic bullying
- 54% of LGBT+ Youth do not feel part of their school community
- 49% do not feel they are achieving their best at school.
The harmful impact of not feeling safe and included in school where everyone should feel secure and nurtured can be devastating. Young people and indeed educators need to be empowered to reject bigotry in all it’s forms which is why the TIE campaign is so important.
“I am proud that as a council we could give LGBT+ young people and their families our support and show leadership on this matter and that colleagues joined with me in recognising the importance of an education system that is fully inclusive of LGBT+ identities and relationships.”
On hearing the news A TIE campaign spokesperson commented
“We are delighted that North Ayrshire have become the first local authority to support our campaign, and we are pleased to hear that they will be taking steps to learn about the experiences of LGBT+ school pupils in the area – in an effort to tackle LGBT-phobia – and ensure that the local education system is inclusive of LGBT+ . This is great news for young LGBT+ people in the region and we are more than happy to help the council in any way we can.”