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September 5, 2011

IconPrimary school teachers report thousands of homophobic incidents

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that 20,400 primary school pupils were labelled as “homophobic” or “racist” by their teachers during the past academic year.

Allegations of homophobic and racist bullying are frequently placed on childrens’ permanent educational records.

The figure was requested by The Manifesto Club, a group that campaigns against the “hyperregulation of everyday life”. Adrian Hart – a representative for the group – suggested to the Sunday Times that teachers might be overzealous in reporting incidences of bullying.

“There’s no doubting that children say some really nasty and horrible things, but this approach is squeezing the meaning out of childhood,” claimed Hart.

“Children are seldom, if ever, homophobic or racist in the way this approach imagines. Children simply access words they hear around them and re-deploy them, often without understanding their meaning.”

In one incident, two year four children called one another “gay” and “lesbian” whilst arguing over an eraser.

[via Pink News]

1 Response to Primary school teachers report thousands of homophobic incidents

  1. Jessica Marie says:

    I think to say that this approach is squeezing the meaning out of childhood is ridiculous.
    Using prejudiced and racist language isn’t an integral part of a person’s childhood. That would be akin to saying that a child using an identifier of race as an insult is an integral part of the childhood experience, which I think everyone would is not.

    To make a claim that teachers reporting such behavior of bullying as overzealous only furthers the idea in the collective subconscious that it is ok to use ‘gay’ as an insult and it furthers the belief that these children have that using this language is ok. It’s not ok.

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