Homophobic Bullying

Question Time — Scottish Executive — General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:41 am on 23rd June 2005.

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Photo of Margaret Smith Margaret Smith Liberal Democrat 11:41 am, 23rd June 2005

To ask the Scottish Executive how the police are addressing homophobic bullying in the workplace and in schools. (S2O-7206)

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Labour

The police are involved in a number of initiatives to combat homophobia in schools. The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland is currently working with LGBT Youth Scotland as partners on the Executive's homophobic bullying project advisory board.

Photo of Margaret Smith Margaret Smith Liberal Democrat

I shall have the pleasure of attending the Pride Scotia march in Edinburgh at the weekend and of launching Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland's education for all campaign, which hopes to tackle the problem of homophobic bullying in schools with a number of partner organisations. Is the minister happy to support that initiative? What training is the Executive undertaking with public sector workers on homophobic bullying and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in general?

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Labour

The initiative that Margaret Smith refers to is important. The Executive has, through its Education Department, commissioned LGBT Youth Scotland, in partnership with the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland, to carry out some work on homophobic incidents in schools. We believe that, if we can research some of the issues surrounding the problem, recommendations will be made and we can then develop a second phase of work that will allow us to consider what more might need to be done in that respect. I want to place on record our strong commitment to tackling the problem of bullying in any shape or form. It is important that all public sector workers are able to report such incidents if they are the victims of those incidents, and that they should ensure that they are aware in their day-to-day practice of the equality issues that are involved.