LGBT History Month in Your School
We believe that prejudice and discrimination should be challenged every day, but having a specific history month provides a valuable opportunity for schools to think about the ways in which they can promote inclusion. No matter how small, change can really make a difference.
A few suggestions...
- Put posters up in your school to celebrate LGBT History Month or challenge homophobia. You'll find posters in the resources section of this website, or at the back of our PDF guides for schools here.
- Have a discussion with a colleague or put LGBT issues on the agenda at a team meeting. Dialogue and discussion are platforms for change, so why not have a discussion about whether LGBT young people are ‘out’ and safe in your school? What mechanisms are in place to support them? Are phrases like ‘That’s soo gay’ common place?
- Deliver a lesson or assembly on LGBT history. Have a look in our Resources section for some material to start you off.
- Play a film over break times or in class. Young people and staff at LGBT Youth Scotland have created a selection of thought-provoking films over the years, looking at issues such as homophobia, domestic abuse and equal marriage. Have a look at our Youtube channel.
- Set up a group in your school to look at Equality and Fairness. Setting up an equality group or a GSA (Gender and sexual orientation alliance) can be a great way to plan and implement change in your school. You'll find our guide here.
- Attend a LGBT History Month event. February is jam-packed full of innovative, fun, challenging and engaging activities and events across Scotland. Take a look at the What’s On section of this website.
Why do something for LGBT History Month?
Homophobic bullying can be common place in school and have a devastating impact on pupils. LGBT Youth Scotland’s Life in Scotland for LGBT Young People: Education Report found that 61.9% of LGBT respondents had experienced homophobic or biphobic bullying in school. Furthermore, 10% of all LGBT young people had left education as a result of homophobia, biphobia or transphobia within the educational establishment.
Any young person can be homophobically bullied or be called ‘gay’ often because they are perceived to be different or don’t fit with peer norms. Young people felt this was hurtful regardless of whether they identified as LGBT or not.
This work, alongside other anti-bullying and anti-discrimination work assists young people to achieve the four capacities and experiences and outcomes outlined in Curriculum for Excellence.
Whatever you choose to do, LGBT Youth Scotland can provide the information, advice and resources to support you. You may also want to use LGBT History Month this year as the starting point for a more in depth look at LGBT-inclusiveness in your school by exploring our LGBT Charter Mark scheme.