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Information and advice for young people in Suffolk


Homophobic bullying

If your mental health is suffering, there is support for you

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When we spoke to young people at Outreach Youth (a youth club for LGBTQ+ young people), some of them felt that their schools failed to deal with homophobic comments and bullying. 

Research from Stonewall found that homophobic bullying is the second most frequent form of bullying, after bullying because of weight.

But, within primary and secondary schools, 9 in 10 staff haven't received any training at all on dealing with homophobic bullying.

Find out more about homophobic bullying.

Some of the young people at Outreach Youth said there have been times when their teachers have passed homophobic comments off as 'banter', and not taken it seriously. Homophobic comments are not funny. Bullying someone based on their sexuality is just as bad as bullying someone because of their race. 

Schools have a duty to tackle discrimination and bullying under law. If your teacher is turning a blind eye to homophobic comments or bullying, you must find someone who listens to you. Try talking to your parents, a different teacher, your head of year, or even headteacher. You might not feel comfortable telling them, but its important that the bullying stops.

Keeping a diary of any comments or nasty behaviour that you receive will help your parents and teachers understand exactly what is going on, so they can help stop it.

Homophobic bullying is a hate crime

If you find you're not getting anywhere, you can actually report homophobic bullying to the police. It is a hate crime and against the law. If your school doesn't deal with the issue, you can report the incidents to the police or online at Suffolk Hate Crime Service.

If you feel your mental health and wellbeing is suffering, there is support for you. There are loads of organisations who provide information and support specifically for people who are LGBTQ+. Find out more on Mind's sexuality and mental health page.

And if you really can't face talking to someone in person, you can chat with someone online anonymously on Bullying UK.

At Outreach Youth, a lot of the young people felt that if teachers had training on issues of gender, sexuality and homophobic bullying, and these things were talked about in school, then homophobia would decrease.

Stonewall offer programmes and training for secondary schools to enable them to deal with and prevent homophobia. Try talking to your school to see if they could join the Stonewall Secondary School Champions Programme.

Further links around hate crime and your rights can be found on the Mermaid website

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