Tie campaign demands continue to gain momentum among civil society and policy makers
THE SCOTTISH children and young people’s commissioner has backed demands for an LGBT+ inclusive education in Scottish schools.
Commissioner Tam Baillie has backed the demand by the Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) campaign for changes to Scottish school education to stem the tide of abuse, bullying and isolation suffered by LGBT+ youth.
Tie plans include a change to teaching to reflect the range of sexualities and gender and sexual identities in Scotland and to train teachers to combat bullying. The campaign is aiming for new legislation during the current Scottish Parliamentary term to achieve these ends.
“Schools have a crucial role in developing our children and young people and it is time to tackle the discrimination of our LGBTI+ communities in school settings. This should be addressed by the Scottish Government and education providers.” Tam Baillie
Voicing his support for the policies, Baillie said: “I fully support the Tie campaign. Schools have a crucial role in developing our children and young people and it is time to tackle the discrimination of our LGBTI+ communities in school settings. This should be addressed by the Scottish Government and education providers to ensure we live up to our international rights obligations and to create school communities based on equality and respect for all.”
Baillie, who became children’s commissioner in 2009, has over 20 years experience in campaigning in the interests of young people, and is the latest high profile civic leader to back the campaign’s demands.
The campaign has also attracted the support from Scotland’s leading politicians, from Scottish Green party co-convenor Patrick Harvie, who has pledged to create a bloc of MSPs pushing for reform to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who described herself as a “huge supporter” of the 2016 Scottish Election.
A Tie spokesperson said: “All children have a right to an inclusive education but, currently, many LGBTI learners in Scotland are not receiving any form of education which is reflective of their identity or the issues affecting them.
“We are clear that this must be addressed, and we believe that all schools should be inclusive environments for LGBTI youth. To that end, we are delighted that the Children and Young People's Commissioner has supported our campaign and we hope that this will influence our decision makers to take more affirmative steps towards addressing the culture of silence around LGBTI within education.”
The Tie campaign’s efforts to reform Scottish education have been prompted by extensive evidence of widespread abuse against LGBT+ youth in Scottish schools. Polling by the group in the summer of 2016 found that 90 per cent of LGBT+ people experience homophonic abuse while at school.
The breakthrough backing comes days after a blow to efforts to combat the stigma of being gay in the Westminster parliament.
A bill proposed by SNP MP John Nicolson to “set aside” some 50,000 convictions of Gay men for various offences related to their sexuality, around 15,000 of which apply to men who are still alive, was “talked out” by Conservative Justice Minister Sam Gyimah, who deliberately surpassed the time allotment for the bill causing it to be closed.
A Conservative bill dealing with pardons for those previously convicted of offences for being gay will be put before the House of Commons.
Picture courtesy of Tie Campaign
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