We go to school for an academic education but those early years in our life are where we also learn a lot of the social skills and attitudes that we will be with us all through our lives. We probably spend as much time with our classmates of a week as we do with our families and there is a lot we can learn from each other. We learn about our similarities and our differences, we learn right from wrong, we learn about personal boundaries and we learn how to be tolerant. Unfortunately, some people learn how to be cruel, some people learn about the mob mentality and they learn about the power of words and actions and how they can be used to hurt others. A decent educational establishment will have a good anti bullying policy but it doesn’t do any harm for you to find out what’s in place at your school. If you think the schools bullying policy isn’t robust enough then say something. Talk to your fellow students, your teachers, the Head Teacher or even the School Governors. Your school has a duty of care to make sure they are doing just that. Hopefully, you won’t suffer homophobic bullying but your actions might help to protect someone else.
Prejudice is often just a lack of understanding. You can help to educate others about LGBT issues. You have to decide what you are comfortable talking about and how much you are prepared to give. Not everyone will want to get involved but if you do you can help to change opinions. You can empower others within and beyond the LGBT community to speak up and be proud of who they are. Stonewall provides fantastic information and advice for getting involved at School. Let us know what you have done at your school or college.