school presentation - Belfast Education & Library Board

Challenging Homophobic Language
School Name
Aims
• To help schools challenge and respond to
homophobia in the context of developing an
inclusive, safer and more successful school
environment for all.
Objectives
• To examine the impact which homophobic
language can have on pupils and school
community
• To develop and practice different ways of
responding to homophobic language
• To explore ways of preventing homophobic
language through a collective approach
Audit
Discussion in groups
Stereotypes
• As a group call out all the names, phrases,
stereotypes and labels that are associated with
each group
– Lesbian
– Gay Man
– Bisexual
– Heterosexual
• Think about when we first begin to form our sexual
identity –early age
• What impact do we think this could have on an LGB
person?
Experience of Homophobia in
Every Day Life
Experiencing Homophobia
•
In an open place (including from strangers)
44.2
•
Visiting Bars
13.2
•
Visiting Youth Club
9.1
•
Being provided health services
2.6
•
Voluntary Community organisations
2.6
•
At school from other students
51.9
•
At school from staff
15
•
At work from staff/colleagues
19.8
•
At home from neighbours
14
•
At home from other tenants
7
•
Visiting restaurants and other eateries
13.2
(source: Out On Your Own, McNamee, 2006)
Effects of Homophobia
on Mental Health
Young people who identify as LGBT are –
–
–
–
–
At least 2.5 times more likely to self harm..
5 times more likely to be medicated for depression..
At least 3 times more likely to attempt suicide
20 times more likely to suffer from an eating disorder
than their heterosexual
counterparts.
• Information taken by the “Shout Report 2003”
The Statistics
• 99 per cent of lesbian, gay and bisexual young
people hear phrases such as ‘that’s so gay’ or
‘you’re so gay’ in school
• Only 10 per cent of gay young people say that staff
intervene every time they hear homophobic
language
• 84 per cent of gay young people are distressed
when they hear the word ‘gay’ used as an insult
• 68 per cent of parents don’t know if their children’s
school has policies to tackle homophobic language.
Social Networking
NoHomophobes.com looks at the use of homophobic language on Twitter
and found that:
So gay: used on average over 10,000 times daily
No homo: used on average over 10,000 times daily
Faggot: used on average over 45,000 times daily
Dyke: used on average over 4,000 times daily
Barriers to Tackling
Homophobic Language
• Young people tell us that homophobic
language it is rarely treated in the same way
as racist or sexist language.
• Almost half of secondary school teachers
and a quarter of primary school teachers
think that the homophobic language they
hear is ‘just harmless banter’.
Barriers to Tackling
Homophobic Language
• One in six secondary school teachers say
homophobic language is ‘too common to
intervene in every instance’.
• Nearly one in five gay young people (17 per
cent) say that teachers within a school make
homophobic comments.
• The biggest barrier to tackling homophobic
language is a lack of training and support. Most
teachers want to challenge homophobic
language but lack the confidence to do so.
What Schools can do
– the Basics
• There are many different ways to go
about tackling homophobic language,
but the most important thing is to get
the policies and processes in place to
underpin your work
The Basics
Policy
Parents
Training
Taken seriously
Consistency
Evaluate interventions and follow up with
staff
• Reporting and recording
• Explaining Language
•
•
•
•
•
•
Why should we challenge
homophobic language?
Schools have a duty to safeguard the
wellbeing of all young people in their
care. Failure to respond to homophobic
language can have an impact on pupils’
confidence and self-esteem, as well as
their attainment at school.
How should we respond to
homophobic language?
“That is sooooo GAY!”
• Rarely referring to sexual orientation
• Remind pupils what gay means;
- that it’s not a negative thing;
- that it’s hurtful to people who are gay and
to young people whose parents and
carers, family members, or friends are gay.
• Remember, schools always tackle racist
language. The use of homophobic language
should always be challenged in the same way
Responses
•
•
•
•
Organisational
Question
Challenge
‘I’ messages
Organisational
Responses
• “The ground rules we agreed at the
beginning of the lesson said we would
show respect to others.”
• “The school anti-bullying/behaviour
policy is clear that homophobic
language will not be tolerated.”
• “This school does not tolerate
language like that.”
Question
• “What do you mean by that?”
• “What makes you think that?”
• “Do you mean that as a compliment or an
insult?”
• “Do you realise that what you said is
homophobic?”
• “Would you feel happy if someone was talking
like that about your sister/brother?”
• “Can you explain what you mean by calling
that (object) gay?”
Challenge
• “Language like that is not acceptable.”
• “You might not think that remark is
offensive, but many would.”
• “Let us talk about why people think like
that.”
‘I’ Messages
• “I am not happy with what you said.”
• “I am really surprised to hear you using
that type of homophobic language.”
Putting it into Practice
• 3 Scenarios
• Discus each scenario with your group.
• Decide on what you would feel comfortable
saying to challenge the pupils in the scenarios
given.
Scenario 1
You are walking past a group of
year 9 boys who you do not
teach. You over hear one say,
“Mr. Kennedy is a right fruit”.
Scenario 2
Mark is new to the school and is in
your Year 8 form group. As the form
group come into the class you hear
Louise say, “Mark, those trainers you
are wearing are really gay.”
Scenario 3
You over hear a group of girls talking
about a girl in the year group who has
same sex parents. Amy says, “ I bet
Julie’s a lezzer too.” The group are
laughing loudly at this.
Scenario 1
• “The school policy says that we are all
responsible for making the school a safe
place for students and teachers. That
kind of language is homophobic and will
make people feel unsafe. Therefore it is
not acceptable.”
• “Have you ever considered what it must
be like for gay people to hear that kind of
stuff? How do you think it is going to
make them feel?”
• “You can not tell whether someone is gay
or straight just from how they look or
behave. Gay people are all very different,
just like straight people are.”
• “I am really surprised and disappointed to
hear you say that. I hoped you would
recognise that it is important to treat
everyone, including gay people, with
respect and that it is therefore wrong to
use such homophobic language.”
Scenario 2
• “That kind of language is homophobic
and you know it is against school
policy to make homophobic remarks.
Homophobia is as bad as racism and
sexism.”
• “What do you mean they are gay? Is
that a compliment? You are right;
Abdul’s trainers are very nice!”
• “Have you ever considered what it must be like for
gay people to hear that kind of stuff? How do you
think it is going to make them feel if they keep
hearing the word gay used in a negative way?”
• “I am really disappointed to hear you talking in
that way. I hoped you would welcome new
students and make them feel supported. I also
thought you would realise that using the word gay
in a negative way is offensive to gay people and
therefore would not use that kind of homophobic
language.”
Scenario 3
• “Amy, in this school, we do not use
homophobic language like that. There
is nothing wrong with being a lesbian.”
• “How do you think Julie feels hearing
you talk about her mum like that? How
do you think her mum would feel?
Would you like it if someone said nasty
things about your mum?”
• “It does not matter whether someone
has two mums or two dads. The
important thing is that they love and
look after each other and that they love
and look after their children.”
• “I am really disappointed to hear you
talk like that Amy. I hoped you had
realise that it is important to be kind to
everyone.”
Top 10
What we CAN do
TEACHERS AND SCHOOL
STAFF MUST CHALLENGE
HOMOPHOBIC LANGUAGE
EVERY TIME THEY HEAR IT
MAKE SURE THAT
PUPILS UNDERSTAND
WHY HOMOPHOBIC
LANGUAGE IS
OFFENSIVE
INCLUDE HOMOPHOBIC
LANGUAGE IN ANTIBULLYING POLICIES
AND PROCEDURES
INVOLVE SENIOR
MANAGERS IF
HOMOPHOBIC
LANGUAGE PERSISTS
INVOLVE PARENTS IF
PUPILS PERSIST
INCORPORATE
LESBIAN, GAY AND
BISEXUAL PEOPLE INTO
THE CURRICULUM
ADDRESS
HOMOPHOBIA AND LGB
EQUALITY IN YOUR
LESSONS
USE ASSEMBLIES TO
ADDRESS PROBLEMS
OR PROMOTE
POSITIVE MESSAGES
ABOUT GAY PEOPLE
USE POSTERS AND
PUBLIC DISPLAYS
10
INVOLVE PUPILS
Signposting
It is important for a young person to know about the support organisations which exist
in Northern Ireland. These organisations are best-placed to answer any in-depth
questions a young person may have, they can provide support and advice in a
professional and affirming way.
HERE NI - 028 9024 9452
[email protected]
Lesbian Line - 028 9023 8668
The Rainbow Project – 028 9031 9030
[email protected]
Gay Helpline – 028 9032 2023
Cara-Friend – 028 9089 0202
[email protected]
Youth Action – 028 9024 0551
GLYNI – 028 9089 0202
[email protected]
Belfast Education and Library Board – Gillian Cuthbert
[email protected]