Campaign gets backing of Scottish Parliament
Calls for LGBT issues to be taught in all schools have been backed by the Scottish Parliament.
Sixty six MSPs pledged to advance the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign and commit to supporting a new national strategy to tackle homophobic bullying in Scotland’s schools.
Among the group’s proposals are calls for LGBT issues, such as same-sex families and the history of the LGBT rights movement, to be included in curricular guidance and for teachers to be trained on how to address the topic in the classroom.
The move now places the Scottish Parliament as the first in Europe to express majority support for LGBT inclusive education in schools.
A TIE spokesperson said: “We are delighted to have achieved majority support for our proposals for LGBTI-inclusive education in Scottish schools. This marks a significant step forward; not only for our campaign, but for all LGBTI young people across the country.
“It is important to recognise that this parliamentary mandate for our calls is a historical moment in the push for equal rights in Scotland. We now look forward to working with MSPs to ensure that the strategy outlined in our pledge is realised, as it is time to end the legacy of Section 28 - once and for all.”
Christina McKelvie, MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said the Scottish Parliament has made herself clear. "We support inclusive education in our schools; we support training and guidance for our teachers; and we support, unequivocally, our young LGBTI pupils who have had the courage to speak out and work with TIE," she said.
We support inclusive education in our schools- Christina McKelvie
"It's been an immense privilege to work with the campaign to get to this stage but we all know that there is still more work to be done. I'm glad that across all political divisions, those who have signed the pledge acknowledge that we all must work together to create that safe, secure and tolerant country for our LGBTI young people.”
Recent research from TIE highlighted that nine out of 10 LGBT pupils reported experiencing homophobia at school, while 42% had attempted suicide as a result of being bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Ross Thomson, MSP for north east Scotland said: “Finally achieving a clear majority of MSP support is a landmark moment for the TIE campaign and credit to the excellent and passionate hard work of it’s founders, Jordan Daly and Liam Stevenson.
"TIE has put the issue of LGBTI-inclusive education firmly to the top of the political agenda.”
Party leaders Patrick Harvie, Kezia Dugdale and Willie Rennie are among the sixty six MSPs who have signed the pledge.
The parliament's education and skills committee recently heard evidence from TIE, and a motion to support the proposals outlined in the campaign’s pledge will be debated at the SNP’s upcoming spring conference in March.