London school claims to have almost eradicated anti-gay bullying through education

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

LONDON — Teachers at a London secondary school say they have almost eradicated anti-gay bullying in classrooms and playgrounds after it started teaching its students lessons on LGBT history.

Oscar Wilde

Lesson plans at Stoke Newington School in north London include learning about gay authors, such as Oscar Wilde and James Baldwin, and artist Andy Warhol. History lessons include the story of British mathematician and computer scientist Alan Turing, who committed suicide in 1954 after he was prosecuted for his homosexuality.

Via the London Evening Standard:

Music teacher Elly Barnes said she developed the lessons with colleagues five years ago, after she became concerned about pupils using “gay” as a derogatory term. Now the school plans to extend the scheme by teaching hundreds of teachers how to “educate and celebrate” being gay.

Ms. Barnes aims to “eradicate homophobia from all schools” by giving staff the confidence and resources required to tackle the prejudice.

“Many schools haven’t even begun to deal with homophobia,” she said. “Some still think being gay is illegal in parts of the country. By looking at famous LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] people in history, we’ve changed opinions and we have had a number of pupils come out.

“We have also changed the language used in the school. I used to hear the word gay used all the time as a derogatory term. Now we hardly hear it.”

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