MP gives her public backing to campaign seeking LGBTI inclusion in schools
MHAIRI BLACK MP has endorsed the Tie campaign’s proposals for LGBTI inclusive education in a bid to end homophobia in schools.
Campaign group Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) is calling for LGBTI issues to be taught in all Scottish schools and for teachers to be trained, in an effort to tackle high rates of mental ill health, self harm and suicide among LGBTI young people.
Black, who is openly gay and has been the youngest Member of Parliament since 2015, said: “I support the Tie campaign wholeheartedly. We need to ensure that LGBTI people leave school knowing that there is nothing wrong with who they are, so that they can progress through life confident in their identity.”
“We need to ensure that LGBTI people leave school knowing that there is nothing wrong with who they are, so that they can progress through life confident in their identity.” Mhairi Black MP
Her support comes after the unanimous passing of a resolution in support of Tie at the SNP’s Spring conference earlier this year, committing the party to rolling out the group’s proposals for inclusive education to be common-practice in every school during the party’s time in government.
A Tie spokesman said: “We are delighted that someone as influential as Mhairi has endorsed our campaign, and she joins a growing list of diverse supporters in doing so. We hope that her decision to stand up for the many LGBTI young people who are struggling within an education system which excludes them will encourage other parliamentarians to do the same.”
The list of public endorsements for the campaign has included actress Emma Thompson, veteran LGBTI rights’ activist Peter Tatchell, and Black Lives Matter activist Alicia Garzia.
“We’re asking for all teachers to be trained in LGBTI issues, with all the necessary funding that may require.” Tie spokesperson
Throughout this year’s Scottish Parliament election, every major political party had included manifesto commitments endorsing the group’s calls for teachers from all schools to receive specific training on how to challenge homophobia and discuss LGBTI issues in the classroom.
SNP leader and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously expressed strong sympathy for the Tie campaign. During a chamber debate on LGBTI equality last month, Sturgeon restated her pledge to work with the campaigners to ensure LGBTI identities and issues are included within school curricula.
She said: “I don’t want to live in a country, let alone be first minister of a country, where any young person has to feel that, somehow, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, they are subject to judgement or made to feel in any way less than any other individual in our society. I have given a commitment to working with the campaign for inclusive education.”
Speaking to CommonSpace, Tie campaigner Jordan Daly reiterated his demands of the Scottish Government: “We’re asking for all teachers to be trained in LGBTI issues, with all the necessary funding that may require. We also want LGBTI inclusion in the all school curricula and all pastorcal care resources.”
Talking about developments outwith Scotland, the Tie campaign said it saw signs of hope elsewhere but hoped Scotland would create a precedent: “This week, the state board of education in California unanimously approved the teaching of LGBTI history in schools by law. If Scotland follows suit by adopting TIE’s proposals, it would become the first country in Europe to do so.”
Picture courtesy of: TIE campaign
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