THE LARGEST co-educational youth movement in Scotland has supported calls for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues to be taught in all schools across Scotland.
Scouts Scotland, which has over fifty thousand members, has endorsed the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, which is calling for the introduction of LGBT-inclusive education into all Scottish schools in order to tackle high rates of homophobic and transphobic bullying.
Showing their support outside the Scottish Parliament today, young people from Scouts Scotland stated that “all schools now need to tackle homophobia” and expressed their support for the campaign’s aims.
Scout Network Member Kerry Simpson (19) said:
“I have always found Scouting to be a very welcoming environment where leaders encouraged us to be ourselves. When I came out in Scouting I was immediately accepted.”
“Sadly, not all schools are so welcoming and supportive of LGBT young people. We support the TIE Campaign, which aims to ensure that LGBT issues are taught within schools – to help all young people to feel included and respected.”
The campaign published a report last year which found that 90 per cent of LGBT people experience homophobia at school, while 27 per cent reported that they had attempted suicide due to being bullied.
17-year-old Explorer Scout Oscar Hazelwood added:
“As a Scout we learn to respect everyone and learn from each other. We want to challenge inequality and bullying when we see it and make sure that everyone is valued for who they are.”
“That is why, even though I am not LGBT, I went to Pride with my friends to show my support and to show that I care. All schools now need to tackle homophobia – and it is not just LGBT people that need to learn about it.”
The Scottish Government recently launched a national working group to take forward TIE’s proposals after a majority of MSPs signed the campaign’s strategy pledge, which includes calls for teacher training and new legislation on the issue.
A TIE spokesperson said: “Receiving the support of Scouts Scotland marks a very significant step forward for our campaign. That one of the largest youth movement’s in Scotland has wholeheartedly endorsed our calls for LGBT education in schools reaffirms what we already know: that there is wide support across Scotland for the educational experience to be LGBT-inclusive.”
“Our ethos of equality and inclusivity aligns with that of Scouts Scotland, and we look forward to working closely together to ensure that all LGBT young people are safe and supported at school.”