Friday, July 06, 2007

Bullying in the playground.

Bullying in a school playground can take various forms, one of which is name calling. There can be a very nasty side to this name calling that is not innocent or funny. Thankfully my local MP Kevin Brennan has taken up this issue in his new job at the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Children who call classmates "gay" or "queer" should be treated the same as racists, the new children's minister said yesterday. "We need to create a culture where homophobic bullying is as unthinkable as racist bullying. That culture must be shared across our whole society but I believe schools are the right place to start." Mr Brennan singled out disc jockeys such as Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1 who has been criticised for his casual use of the word "gay" to describe something as "rubbish".

"This is too often seen as harmless banter instead of the offensive insult that it really represents," said the minister .

I am pleased that Kevin has taken this issue on board in an effort to nip this problem in the bud. Children will face many challenges as they grow up and will face many prejudices in their lives. A challenge to their developing sexual identity is one that they should not have to endure and certainly not be bullied over it in the supposed supportive environment of a school playground. It is right that appropriate teaching is offered in our schools so that pupils can understand sexual diversity within our society.

Kevin is a good MP for Cardiff West and he is one of a number of MP's who stood up against our government and voted against the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Keep up the good work Kevin, your heart and mind is clearly in the right place.
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