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Stonewall would like your backing for a campaign about homophobic language in schools: what do you think?

(98 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Oct-13 10:48:32


The campaigning organisation Stonewall, with whom we've done a bit of work in the past, is asking whether Mumsnet can give its collective support to a new campaign about the use of homophobic language by schoolchildren, and the way that schools deal with this problem. As ever, we'd like to know what you think about adding Mumsnet's voice to this.

The central issue is around the pejorative use by children of words and phrases like 'gay' and 'you're so gay': whether schools recognise such language as homophobic, whether they take appropriate steps to tackle it, and whether children in schools are given appropriate and clear guidance about the unacceptability of this sort of language. The campaign will concentrate on working with schools to give training and support where necessary.

The campaign hasn't launched yet, and Stonewall doesn't want to give away all its campaign tactics before the launch (understandably), but if you have any specific questions about the methods and aims of the campaigns, let us know and we'll see if we can get answers for you.

Please do also use this thread to let us know what you think about Mumsnet officially getting behind this one.


Wolfiefan Tue 22-Oct-13 10:53:31

Great! I'm a teacher and never let this language go unchallenged. If kids call something "gay" meaning lame or crap then that's what they are saying about people who aren't straight. Schools should always deal with this. What about kids struggling with issues around their sexuality hearing this?

ercoldesk Tue 22-Oct-13 10:55:21


smee Tue 22-Oct-13 11:52:14

Sounds vital to me.

MillyMollyMully Tue 22-Oct-13 11:55:22

Absolutely. Please do it.

SanctimoniousArse Tue 22-Oct-13 11:55:58

would be great but when I've asked a Head to do something about disablist and homophobic language he told me it was 'impossible'. Meaning he didnt want too.

VelvetStrider Tue 22-Oct-13 12:02:51

Great! This is absolutely essential for both gay children and teenagers, and society as a whole. I think it should go further though, perhaps Stonewall could link with disability groups, ethnic minorities etc. to try and stamp down on all offensive language. Sometimes people don't realise just how offensive some words are, they are just copying their peers without thinking about meanings.

I was shocked and disgusted to recently hear my teenage relatives (who are good, hardworking and polite people who rarely even swear) use words such as half caste, retard, coloured, gay, poof etc. without realising the offensiveness of these words.

HerrenaHarridan Tue 22-Oct-13 12:20:08

On a positive note.

My bfs dd just started senior school and she was talking about her parents. When she described them as gay she was rounded on by on of the girls about not using that as a insult. smile
However she them had to explain no really my mum and step mum are gay grin

HerrenaHarridan Tue 22-Oct-13 12:26:08

My first post disappeared so that one makes less sense.

In essence, absolutely people are far too slack about challenging kids using gay and retard to deceive something/ someone. Not acceptable.

kw13 Tue 22-Oct-13 13:09:29

Absolutely. Fantastic idea. A list of resources that parents could use would also be useful - have struggled to find anything in the UK for my 7 year old DS to read (or to have to read to) where there are incidental gay characters/plot lines. Thanks.

januarysnowdrop Tue 22-Oct-13 13:15:28

Really good idea, definitely Mumsnet should get behind it.

CosmicDespot Tue 22-Oct-13 13:27:20

Yes, I think MN should definitely support this campaign.

SirChenjin Tue 22-Oct-13 13:31:25

Yep, great idea. Not sure that Stonewall should be tackling this in isolation though - I think they could achieve far more by working with other organisations

Worriedthistimearound Tue 22-Oct-13 13:37:42

I think it's great but as a primary teacher I worry about the logistics of rolling this out nationally. Sex ed is a hot potato and many local authorities and governing bodies have explicitly told schools that homosexuality or discussion relating to homosexuality should not be covered until ks3.

I would very much like to say to any child using such language that it's offensive and explain why. Just telling them it's unacceptable rude or offensive isn't good enough IMO. Children need to understand why. I would like to do this without breaching policy. Incidentally, it's a policy that I disagree with but need to work within.

HerrenaHarridan Tue 22-Oct-13 13:38:22

There is a list in stonewalls website of all books featuring gay parents.

Unfortunately for most of them the story is about this which unless you are seeking to educate a child about their or their friends specific circumstances is quite limited.

Space girl pukes is about a girl who travels through space with her cat. She has two mums but it is not central to the story.
It is also sadly out of print and I am desperate for a copy sad

This is the book I bought when seeking to make sure my daughter knew about lots of kinds of family

Sorry for slight derail blush

dyslexicdespot Tue 22-Oct-13 13:39:57


SirChenjin Tue 22-Oct-13 13:41:36

When they say 'nationally' do they mean England? Or do they mean the whole of the UK? Good luck with getting it into the Catholic (state funded - grrrrrr..) schools up here sad

Cataline Tue 22-Oct-13 13:44:52

Sounds great. I never let inappropriate language go unchallenged at school. Unfortunately, many teachers do angry

Worriedthistimearound Tue 22-Oct-13 13:45:10

Yes, as well as the point I was making, catholic schools are a whole other ball game.

HowardTJMoon Tue 22-Oct-13 13:45:40

Sounds like an excellent idea to me.

WoTmania Tue 22-Oct-13 13:46:48

I think it sounds like a very important campaign. It's something I always pick people up on and am largely dismissed/minimised as being too PC or oversensitive etc.

lalamumto3 Tue 22-Oct-13 13:47:35

I would fully support it.

JuliaScurr Tue 22-Oct-13 13:48:08

totally agree

Optimist1 Tue 22-Oct-13 13:48:17

Yes, this would have my wholehearted support.

I think that would be great.

As for starting at ks3, all of DD's primary school classes (and her friends at nursery) knew that some kids had 2 mums...

smee Tue 22-Oct-13 13:53:56

Agree with Empress, it should definitely be in Primary schools.

LadyCurd Tue 22-Oct-13 13:55:38

Worriedthistimearound where are you getting your info? Local authorities and heads absolutely shouldn't be saying its a KS3 thing. This work can, should and is being done in primary schools.
I work across local authorities and none of the ones I work for would ever dream of saying that. Admittedly there are issues at individual school level but LA and nationally is clear it is important to do this work at primary.

TheKnackeredChef Tue 22-Oct-13 14:04:13

That's interesting, Ladycurd. My DD (Y6) was fobbed off only last week about this when she went to complain to the deputy head at her primary that there was homophobic bullying going on in the playground. I was appalled when she told me that they don't cover same sex relationships at all until secondary school. I shall investigate further and start ruffling some feathers!

I'd be all in favour of a campaign with Stonewall. Happy to help in any way.

I think it's a great idea.

trockodile Tue 22-Oct-13 14:13:01

I would definitely support such a campaign, I think it is really important that children (and adults)realise the power that words have to hurt and not excuse homophobic language with the old 'pc gorn mad' mentality.

LadyCurd Tue 22-Oct-13 14:13:56

DM me for more info if you want Theknackeredchef.
Can give you all the right pressure points for the head ;)

Worriedthistimearound Tue 22-Oct-13 14:15:50

Ladycurd, this is from my own experience of fighting against it when I was teaching Y6. It came up during the sex ed session and I wanted to discuss it openly with the kids. I felt that as they'd asked in a mature way the least I could go was answer them honestly and make sure they heard the facts rather than hearsay. But I was told absolutely no. I went through exactly the same thing trying to get them to allow me to discuss masturbation. I was told absolutely not. The parents had been consulted, had agreed to lessons on sexual intercourse (though only straight sex allowed to be discussed) but absolutely drew the line at masturbation. Total madness considering that should be their first sexual experience and should be enjoyed without fear or shame.

Worriedthistimearound Tue 22-Oct-13 14:17:49

Meant to add, I contacted the SRE consultant at county to be told they support the general 'leave it to ks3' strategy and it was up to governors to have final word.

LadyCurd Tue 22-Oct-13 14:22:56

Blimey that's sad. Was this your head rather than LA though? Worth flagging up equality act with school- currently not meeting LGBT kids needs or kids with LGBT parents or family members by providing a heteronormative curriculum. That doesn't mean talking about "gay sex" at primary level (a misnomer anyhow as any sex act you can imagine pretty much can be done if gay or straight!), but mentioning same sex relationships is important.
I reccomend space girl pukes, if I had 100 mummies, &tango makes three or king &king as entirely age appropriate awesome storybooks for primary schools.

LadyCurd Tue 22-Oct-13 14:23:59

headdesk can you DM me which area. Might have to poke them! Ahem!

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Oct-13 16:30:28

Hello everyone

Thanks for your views so far.

We'll see if we can get some input from Stonewall on the specific questions you've raised.


Worriedthistimearound Tue 22-Oct-13 17:33:32

You'd be surprised at how many parents worry that teaching about any of this stuff including homosexuality is more likely to lead to their 11yr olds indulging. I suppose it's a throw back to their own poor sex ed but it's difficult to get the point across esp to governors that sex ed at 11 won't lead to promiscuous 11yr olds and that teaching about same sex relationships will not 'make' a child gay but hopefully foster understanding and perhaps act as reassurance to any child already feeling 'different' in those terms or to others who may start to become aware of their homosexuality over the next couple of years.

Puberty and sexuality is stressful and confusing to all teenagers. I think we owe it to our kids to prepare them for it as much as possible do they know those feelings, whatever they may be, are normal and acceptable.

MrsDavidBowie Tue 22-Oct-13 17:48:24

Great idea. I am doing a homophobic bullying training day with Shaun Dellenty, who has links with Stonewall.
I am shocked how many primary school children do think homosexuality is abnormal.....they are voicing their parents' opinions sadly.

TEErickOrTEEreat Tue 22-Oct-13 17:52:49

Sounds fabulous but it will never wash in Northern Ireland.

So I assume they are targeting England, Scotland and Wales?

SirChenjin Tue 22-Oct-13 17:58:45

I asked that upthread too TEE - it will be interesting to see, as I hope they do (although there is no way they will get it into the Catholic schools unfortunately).

I'm all for the proposal, but I think they would be more successful if they take an interagency/partnership approach - if they could get it into the health and wellbeing part of our Curriculum for Excellence for example to be taught at age appropriate stages then I think it would be more effective that 'just' a Stonewall campaign

FeverAndTheFret Tue 22-Oct-13 18:09:40

Tackling homophobia and homophobic language in school is important and a good campaign to support I would think...

But, sometimes challenges to language usage are ill thought out and clumsy resulting in something like this:

Bobby: " ... You're so gay, Kieran!"

Mrs Fretwell: " Bobby. Don't speak like that. It's not nice!"

And Bobby and Kieran may then conclude perhaps that being gay is 'not nice'...

Worriedthistimearound Tue 22-Oct-13 18:16:23

Fever, that was exactly my point earlier. If we as teachers are not allowed to explain why it's not very nice then it makes it all very ambiguous in the minds of children. We need honesty and clarity if we are to tackle such things.

I would love MN to lend support in someway. I have a DD in high school and I'm aware from her FB that terms such as gay, mong, retard and you're special are bandied about unchallenged.

Her school have had a great couple of days awareness on relationships of all kinds and counsellors have been in to talk to teens who are wondering about their own sexuality...given all this, I can't understand why "you're gay" is such a common insult.

TEErickOrTEEreat Tue 22-Oct-13 18:23:22

It's a good point, Fever and Worried.

I was very active with GLBT organisations in high school and college (US) and it's not enough to say 'don't say that'.

You need to say why.

Just like when my son told his friend 'you throw like a girl' I explained that some girls throw quite well, thank you.

trockodile Tue 22-Oct-13 18:31:05

MrsDavidBowie-that sounds really interesting. I've been following Shaun Dellenty on Twitter for a while, and he does have some really interesting articles etc.
Here's one where he talks about the situation mentioned by Fever.

CMOTDibbler Tue 22-Oct-13 19:06:02

I look forward to this campaign, and fully support it

lionheart Tue 22-Oct-13 19:31:01

Absolutely. I know Stonewall already does some fantastic work with schools.

I raised this once with my son's school (year 6) and was told that they would try to deal with it if they heard it (not exactly proactive).

When I followed up with a question about whether sexuality was raised at all as part of the NC they got very sheepish and said that some parents would not like this. I think the teachers were pretty much cowed by the response they thought they might get and which perhaps, would only come from a minority, but which dictated what they felt they could and could not do.

I think the campaign would perhaps work best in terms of a wider discussion of sexuality, sexual differences and homophobia (and I don't think the last year of primary is too early to get this underway).

Devora Tue 22-Oct-13 19:47:01

Great idea. I am gay with two children at a school that is in many ways great but could do with more guidance in this area.

HerenaHarridan, I think I have an old copy of Spacegirl Pukes somewhere. Happy to pass it on if you would like it.

Tinlegs Tue 22-Oct-13 19:51:49

Yes....definitely. Please find out if it is Scotland too. Happy to be the contact in my school.

BloodshotDays Tue 22-Oct-13 19:53:20

This is something I wholeheartedly support. I'm a TA and have regular discussions with pupils when they use that language which mainly results in a lot of 'is that because you're gay sir?' type questions sigh.

I can see past it with the pupil's but what does get to me is occasionally the way members of staff speak - had to bite my tongue last week when a cover supervisor commented on a boy messing about in class as putting a 'gay bow' in his hair, in front of the entire class!

HerrenaHarridan Tue 22-Oct-13 21:09:03

Devora! I cant express how happy that would make me!
I have been trying to find it for ages. Repeatedly checking uk and us amazon etc. I read it at a friends house pre dc and have been trying to get my filthy mits on it ever since!

I'd be happy to pay for postage. Do you have a PayPal account?

starlady Tue 22-Oct-13 22:25:20

Yes campaign a great idea etc. my son, aged 10, who is not typically boyish (ie effeminate) is getting called gay by 2 boys who are generally obnoxious to other kids. Have to say, his RC primary have been fab, and taken it v seriously, and jumped on it, although in a way that is sensitive to my ds.

Devora Tue 22-Oct-13 22:51:54

Oh don't worry about that - it's only a thin paperback. Just PM me your address and I'll try to find it over the next couple of days.

HerrenaHarridan Wed 23-Oct-13 00:03:52

Great devora, have pm'ed you. smile

CanucksoontobeinLondon Wed 23-Oct-13 01:03:57

Add me to the throng who think the OP has a great idea.

DioneTheDiabolist Wed 23-Oct-13 01:28:49

Brilliant idea.grin

Would just like to point out that DS's Catholic school does not tolerate "gay" as insult already.shock

InsultingBadger Wed 23-Oct-13 02:04:26

Excellent! This has always bothered me, great that it's being tackled

Reiltin Wed 23-Oct-13 02:55:37

Go for it grin

MillyMollyMully Wed 23-Oct-13 03:44:26

Ds' secondary school has been exemplary in teaching the dc to fight all forms of discrimination, and to challenge it strongly wherever they see it. I never thought I would encounter a school where the staff were so fully in line with my own stance. I have been so grateful to them for influencing my ds and his peers in such a rigorously positive way. It helps, I'm sure, that this is a school of quite remarkable diversity.

MillyMollyMully Wed 23-Oct-13 04:06:07

Just to elaborate some more, it is giving him a fantastic start in life - he will be self-assured in the workplace, confident about treating other people with respect. And much less fearful of others, however they may appear to differ from him, in whatever way.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 23-Oct-13 13:11:50


Here's Stonewall's response to some of the points raised so far.

''The campaign will be GB-wide, and we’ll be producing Welsh language versions of materials.

On the point about a wider campaign, we do work closely with other organisations, and sit on the advisory group of the Anti-Bullying Alliance. But what we've recognised is that there's a specific problem with the use of 'that's so gay', with 99 per cent of gay young people saying that they hear it in school, hence why we think it needs a specific intervention. The difference between it and certain types of other hate speech is that young people don't realise that they're being homophobic.

On the point about primary schools, there is absolutely an expectation that primary schools should tackle homophobic language as well – because this is the point when pupils develop intolerant attitudes. Our Teacher Training DVD for primary schools has a specific chapter on homophobic language and has been sent to 15,000 primary schools across the UK.

On the final point about governing bodies, schools have a duty to tackle the use of homophobic language regardless of their beliefs. The way that we make the case to faith schools is that whilst your religion may not approve of homosexuality, no religion condones bullying and abuse. The guidance we're producing will also have a wealth of information to help parents and teachers make the case to their schools if they’re reluctant that they should be tackling homophobic language.''

hippppy Wed 23-Oct-13 13:46:39

This sounds brilliant! My son was relentlessly teased at primary school and called gay all the time. It has really affected his confidence and the school did not take it seriously enough.. I even had to remove him from the school in the end.

NotCitrus Wed 23-Oct-13 14:00:56

Excellent news - along with covering homophobic language in primary, also needs to cover stereotypes, like not assuming a boy is gay, a girl or a wuss for not liking football, liking pink, playing with girls sometimes...
Having lines to deal with the smartarse who says "but he is gay so it's all right to call him gay", or "he's not gay so it's ok' would be very useful for teachers and.pupils
Ds is in reception so no 'gay' language yet but preschool did have other boys telling ds he shouldn't like pink, despite the staff trying to say it was ok.

YoniMatopoeia Wed 23-Oct-13 14:34:11

I would be completely behind this.

motherinferior Wed 23-Oct-13 14:36:37

Yep. Good thing.

DD1's school has lots of posters about Loving Your Inner Lesbian, which is nice, though I did point out probably your inner lesbian would quite like another outer lesbian to love too.

ProfondoRosso Wed 23-Oct-13 14:48:09

I would absolutely support this. And re: Catholic schools (I had a Catholic education), they need some big posters with this quote from Papa Francesco:

“If a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge... Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.”

Obviously, the stance of the Catholic church in general towards LGBTQ individuals is awful, but to at least start promoting tolerance would be a step in the right direction.

SirChenjin Wed 23-Oct-13 15:01:05

Agree Profondo.

Moonstorm Wed 23-Oct-13 20:27:34

Would definitely support this. I think it is particularly important in primary schools.

CaterpillarCara Wed 23-Oct-13 21:06:10

Is this a follow on from the Stonewall School Champions work? I was very pleased when my children's school signed up to that.

Retropear Thu 24-Oct-13 09:26:57

Fantastic idea.

As the mother of football hating,music loving,big reading boys they have already at 10 heard derogatory,homophobic language.

We've had many conversations re being proud to be who you are,why using the term gay in a derogatory fashion is bad and how whoever they end up loving it's neither here nor there.

My 2 are comfortable in their own skin as a result,many children won't be and I worry that without support at home and negativity at school gay teenagers will likely end up depressed and with poor self confidence.

Lilka Thu 24-Oct-13 23:06:35

Fantastic idea, as a lesbian (single) mum, I give all my support to these campaigns

Thankfully, my 8 year old sons school are great with this, proactive in tackling all bullying and use of homophobic language.

Sadly, I think I'm hearing 'gay' as an insult more and more, not less, now compared with 5 years ago

I totally agree with this paragraph in particular from Shaun Dellenty's article

"A hang-over from the dark days of Section 28 is the provocative word 'promote' which regularly gets thrown about with reference to the same sex marriage teaching and the teaching of LGBT issues in school. Think about it, if I teach six world main religions without promoting one over the other, a teacher who has a personal objection to human beings who are born LGBT should be able to educate and inform about the existence of LGBT people and civil partnerships without making a qualitative or personal judgement. Imagine if I refused to teach one particular faith because it didn't sit comfortably with my own beliefs- I would fully expect to face capability proceedings, as well as many offended members of my school community"

So true

adoptmama Fri 25-Oct-13 18:34:20

totally agree. children in school should always be challenged for using homophobic language. gay children have as much right as anyone to go to school and feel safe and valued and should not hear terms being gay fired around as insults.

balia Fri 25-Oct-13 19:24:35

Totally support this - I abhor homophobic language and called kids on it every. single. time. But that just resulted in the kids saying 'don't use those words, miss doesn't like it' as if it was a weird foible of mine.

Then we had Stonewall in our school and derogatory remarks using the word 'gay' stopped overnight. It was incredible. IMO, having Stonewall come into our school was the most effective thing we ever did.

AugustaCarp Fri 25-Oct-13 20:02:46

Yup. Surprised it's even a question.

neolara Fri 25-Oct-13 20:34:32

Great idea. And can I share this.

notagiraffe Sat 26-Oct-13 17:25:56

Fully support it. The use of 'gay' as an insult is really invasive, casual homophobia and shouldn't go unchallenged.

Some children might only know the word to mean 'rubbish' because they come across it at school, so may need educating on what the word meant before this term was attached. (We grew up thinking 'paki shop' was just a neutral term for a convenience store - I had no idea at all it was rude and felt very embarrassed when someone challenged me on it.)

Up thread someone said that many LAs don't want homosexuality discussed at all until KS3. Would Stonewall challenge that too, please? Apart from the issue that some people know they are gay from a very young age, in primary, most children will also know several gay people or may have gay parents and for LAs to steer clear of gay orientation at KS2 suggests there is something unwholesome about being gay, which again, imho, shows prejudice against gay people.

Snargaluff Sat 26-Oct-13 17:31:50

In my classroom pupils often say 'gay' to mean rubbish and I stamp down on it really hard, if I've told them once that it's completely inappropriate and offensive then I keep them in at break. But I'm starting to think, what if they think I'm punishing them because I think it's offensive to call someone gay, rather than because I know it's offensive to use gay as synonymous for crap? I don't think I have made this clear enough.

I'm stricter on this than for swearing though.

plipplops Wed 30-Oct-13 22:45:31

Sounds good to me.

slightlygoostained Wed 30-Oct-13 22:53:14

Yes yes yes, absolutely MN should support this.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 03-Nov-13 10:28:28

As a teacher and parent I support this wholeheartedly. My DSs are at a school that has NOT challenged homophobic behaviour and bullying effectively at all and it disgusts me. Now Ofsted is out of the way we're getting to work on them so this campaign is timely for us.

The school I work at however takes a very strong line on homophobic language and abuse and given the catchment we serve, this is no mean feat.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 03-Nov-13 10:38:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoldieOldNaiceHam Sun 03-Nov-13 10:46:25

Do it.

NewtRipley Mon 04-Nov-13 18:47:55

Have Stonewall contacted Stoke Newington School, London?

They developed a training course for teachers a few years ago, and each year celebrate LGBT week

Weegiemum Mon 04-Nov-13 18:51:46

It's very important, but as many schools are lagging behind on sexist, anti-religious or sectarian, disab list language I feel a specifically anti-homophobic campaign is too selective.

I'd get behind an anti-hate-speech proposal, though.

Chocrock Mon 04-Nov-13 18:59:21

Absolutely, yes its a great idea and about has become a word to describe just about everything that's perceived of as bad or not cool in junior/primary aged kids which is very sad.

I think it's really important. I told the head at primary school when some of DCs' friends used 'gay' as an insult in yr 2 and 4, but felt she didn't really have a good way to challenge it. I think support for teachers would be great on this one.

kim147 Mon 04-Nov-13 20:11:23

I know Stonewall is an LGB organisation but it would be useful if they could look at transphobic language.

You act like / kick like a girl. There's nothing wrong with a boy acting "like a girl" or vice versa.

TheIggorcist Tue 05-Nov-13 22:58:19

So, is it going to N.Ireland (GB wide doesn't include..)? I would disagree with the poster who said it wouldn't wash there, though I know exactly what she means, but that just isn't acceptable - schools have a duty to try to tackle all forms of bullying, for example, so cannot ignore homophobic bullying (and language is a part of that). Ultimately an LEA could be taken to court for allowing a student to be harassed, surely they don't want that.
Something needs to happen to make it appealing for Catholic schools, not sure what though sad

Retropear Wed 06-Nov-13 09:56:04

I also wonder if homophobic language has an impact on literacy re boys ie if they're not into football and love reading,writing,art etc boys are more likely to suffer from homophobic language.

Reading is seen as not cool,girly.

I wonder if such a campaign would have an impact on literacy levels.

HowDelightful Wed 06-Nov-13 12:48:13

Great idea. Our primary school head is gay so homophobic language not tolerated, obviously, and the older children all know. Oddly enough, when he joined us he got more abuse from parents than the children...

doorkeeper Fri 08-Nov-13 23:43:23

I'd totally get behind this.

(kim147 - I also agree with your general point, but that's not transphobic language, that's misogynistic language, as it posits being like a girl as the worst thing to be.)

nellieellie Wed 13-Nov-13 14:09:49

Totally in favour

blueberryupsidedown Mon 18-Nov-13 13:02:22

I'm not against that kind of campain, but WHO is it targetting? Children? Teachers? Schools? Parents?

I don't trust that schools currently have the necessary 'tools' to shelter children from the use of a derogatory, homophobe language. Personally, I think that sex ed in this country is pretty useless, and I have regular chats with my children about boys falling in love with boys and girls falling in love with girls as being something we should all respect. No sex there, no need to go into any sexual details. It's about relationships, not sex. I think that schools are afraid of talking about this because they feel they can only approach it from a 'sex ed' perspective.

TheRealYellowWiggle Mon 18-Nov-13 13:59:26

It doesn't have to be about sex ed at all, though, it is about every teacher establishing zero tolerance for homophobic language, and ensuring students know why. We don't accept racist language; they know that is the case in maths or English or wherever - not just in a class specifically about racism.

TheRealYellowWiggle Mon 18-Nov-13 14:01:38

Link to campaign here, I think.,1ZCLV,5RUQB6,74KQ9,1

I've heard my ds7 and dd10 using 'gay' to describe negative things. I'm guilty of not telling them that it's not appropriate language even though I hear loads of kids in their class saying it. Will try and discuss it sensitively acknowledging the problems of them just copying what other especially older children say.

BTW dd's teacher last year wouldn't accept any slang, taught the children the proper meanings of all slang words.

snowbuddy Sat 23-Nov-13 22:02:55

Great idea! Totally behind it. I work in a school and have always challenged this language and I always put a firm stop to my own children using such language when they were small. Just as well, as my son came out in his 20's and I had no idea he was gay. I don't think he had an idea either until hitting puberty.

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