Saturday, 15 October 2011

Christian Institute bullies its way over homophobic bullying education pack - then rejoices

Apparently the Christian Institute are rejoicing because they think they have squashed a homophobic bullying help pack which has been taken down pending looking into their complaint.

In their article they wrote  that the pack "was styled as guidance on preventing bullying", before the Institute's Mike Judge went on the say

"a hierarchy of victim has seeped into our education system where some forms of bullying are taken more seriously than others".

Strangely that is just the reason why material looking how teachers can deal with homophobic bullying is needed. Teachers in our schools everywhere know how to deal with racist bullying, they know how to deal with sectarian bullying. These types of bullying are taken seriously. It is the homophobic bullying that is one of the areas that is overlooked.

Mr Judge also says:

"Schools have become factories for undermining family values and brainwashing children."

The problem is that the group mentality and peer pressure of fellow students is what leads school children to get away with bullying or to take part in it. One of my friends at school would often join in with the homophobic bullying of me at secondary school. He would later always apologise for doing so, saying that the reason he did so was to fit in with the others and not to be attacked by them for other reasons. Yes, to avoid him getting bullied by that group he would take part in the verbal bullying (he never took part in physical bullying of me) that was going on.

So Mr Judge yes we have to ensure that no type of bullying is superior to another, but when you attack a resource that is there to deal with one of the most harmful types of bullying still prevalent in our schools. Earlier this week the figures from Rainbow Project/ Cara Friend report Left out of the equation looking at LGBT young people in schools showed that 84.5% had contemplated suicide, 35.3% had attempted it and 41.2% had self harmed. Indeed at that age I was part of whatever those first two statistics would have been. It also pointed out that while young people racially or religiously victimised had other family members to rely on, LGBT youth could only rely on the professionals that they came into contact with.

That is why it is important that our teachers know how to deal with homophobic bullying, have resources to change that group mentality in the classroom. So that no type of bullying is better resourced than any other to be dealt with in our classroom. If the Christian Institute can't get that they aren't very Christ-like.

There is one piece of truth in the Christian Institute article:

Anne Jardine, Director of Learning and Community at the Education Scotland quango, said the document had been removed from its website, "pending further discussion".

According the NUS LGBT Officer Nathan Sparkling the complaint had coincided with a staff holiday so the person to make a decision was not available and the procedure was to suspend this until it could be considered and action agreed by the person responsible. This apparently should be happening soon and the pack will be reinstated on the website.

Note The institute has a whole section tagged as 'homosexual rights' or actually if you read the material how they have tried to block those rights every step of the way for the last 15 years. It shows you exactly what stance they would take on anything, even if it is logical, makes sense and may even prevent harm, if it is seen to acknowledge that homosexuals exist everywhere, even in their churches.

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