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Bullying in school

While this section focuses on people in school or college, bullying still occurs in the workplace and other settings.

Bullying can cause long-lasting damage to young people and badly affects the schools and colleges that take no measures to tackle it. Homophobia can affect any pupil or student, whether they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or straight, and this form of bullying can be especially confusing, vicious, isolating, and life-changing.

All schools have a duty of care to ensure the safety of, and to protect the emotional well being of, every person in their care. Schools need to be aware of the homophobia endemic in British schools, and its effects on learning, health, and self-esteem. Anti-bullying activities can improve pupils’ behaviour, social relationships, and level of academic achievement.

If you are experiencing bullying

If you are experiencing homophobic bullying at school, you may be:

  • Questioning or unsure of your sexuality
  • Struggling with your studies
  • Playing truant or avoiding classes
  • Feeling bad about yourself and your future
  • Feeling frightened or alone

Examples of bullying are when people

  • Write vicious and hurtful comments on social networking sites and/ or post offensive pictures
  • Verbally abuse or threaten you and/ or name call; eg: gay, faggot, fairy, poofter, bum boy, batty boi, fag
  • Exclude you from conversations, social groups, parties, and invitations
  • Throw things at you, unintentionally bump into you, hit you, and/ or graffiti your possessions
  • Out you by telling other people or spreading rumours that you are gay
  • Deliberately misuse pronouns when addressing you; eg: referring to you as she if you are male

What to do

  • The most important and brave thing to do is to talk to someone. There are people and organisations who can listen to you, understand you, and respect your confidentiality
  • Do not make contact or engage with the bully
  • Do not delete anything you receive. For help to take screen shots: Windows | iPhone, iPad | Mac | Android
  • If you think you are in physical danger or fear for your life call 999


Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline | 0300 330 0630 
The LGBT Foundation | 0345 3 30 30 30
EACH | 0808 1000 143 (up to 18yrs)
Child Line | 0800 1111 (up to 19yrs)

Young Stonewall | Stonewall  
LGBT+ Inclusive Sex & Relationship Education | Peter Tachell Foundation
Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullyingAnti-Bullying Alliance

Education policies in England overlook bullying of LGBT+ pupils | The Conversation | 1 Feb 2021
Cut to anti-bullying funding in England for LGBTQ+ young people 'callous' | The Guardian | 19 Nov 2020
Pathways to LGBT+ Inclusion: Report | 2020 | Diversity Role Models

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