Holyrood’s youngest MSP urges colleagues to back LGBTI+ education as new school terms begin


Scottish parliamentarians have opportunity to back demands of the Tie campaign ahead of the start of the new school year

SCOTTISH parliamentarians will today get the opportunity to sign their support for a motion calling for the parliament to back demands for LGBTI+ inclusive education ahead of the start of the Scottish school term next week.

The motion, entitled Time for Inclusive Education This School Term, was submitted by the Scottish Parliament’s youngest MSP and Scottish Greens education spokesperson Ross Greer.

Greer said: “Most of Scotland's young people return to school this week, to a place where every one of them should feel safe, respected and valued. For many LGBTI+ young people this is not the case and a curriculum which recognises and values them as well as appropriate training and support for teachers is an essential step towards eliminating homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying in our schools.

“The Tie campaign has done incredible work in pushing this to the top of the education agenda in Scotland and I hope that my colleagues across every party will recognise this and support the motion.”

The motion endorses the work of the Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) campaign, which has fought for over a year for Scottish schools to introduce an education that is inclusive of the spectrum of sexualities and sexual and gender identities in society.

The demand for inclusive education has gained traction among Scotland’s leading political figures, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Scottish Green party leader Patrick Harvie and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale.

How the LGBT+ Tie campaign made Scotland sit up and notice

A spokesperson for the Tie campaign said: “We are thankful for the submission of this motion, and for the cross-party support which our campaign has received. Ross is correct when he highlights that while all young people should feel safe and supported during their time in education – this is not the case. Instead, many LGBTI learners are returning to school this week to endure more bullying, abuse and exclusion. We would urge all MSPs to support this motion, to send a very clear message that this is unacceptable.

“We are calling for a fresh approach to tackling homophobia, bi-phobia and transphobia in our schools. The historical method of allocating more funding to specialist organisations and issuing guidance which is never followed up on is simply not working. We must ensure that all teachers and professionals working with young people are trained specifically on how to tackle prejudiced based bullying against LGBTI youth and that all school curricula and pastoral care resources are inclusive of LGBTI identities.

“We look forward to working on this with both the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government in the coming weeks, as we have to get this right.”

The motion comes ahead of Glasgow Pride on 20 August, which this year will be headed-up by the Tie campaign, making it the most political Scottish pride celebration in years.

The full motion submitted to the Scottish Parliament can be read below.

“That the Parliament commends the continuing work of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign to ensure that all schools in Scotland offer an LGBTI+ inclusive education; considers that, as many young people return to school, there is still much more to be done to tackle homophobia, bi-phobia and transphobia in education; is aware that TIE is calling for a new strategy in relation to teacher training and LGBTI+ inclusion in school curricula to ensure that LGBTI+ learners are supported and valued; supports TIE's efforts to end homophobic, bi-phobic and transphobic bullying in schools; acknowledges the rich contribution of the LGBTI+ community to society, history and culture, and wishes TIE every success in achieving its aim to create an education system that is a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTI+ young people.”

Picture courtesy of the Tie campaign

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