Sinn Féin have called for the Education Department to take action based on the findings of new research showing that almost half of LGBT pupils in schools here have experienced bullying as a result of their sexuality or gender identity.
The party’s education spokesperson Karen Mullan MLA commented:
“This study was commissioned by then Minister John O’Dowd in 2015 and delivered to the department over a year ago so it is disappointing that it is only surfacing now.
“A lot of time has been lost and immediate steps are now required to begin addressing the issues identified in this report. For example, nearly two-thirds of LGBT young people said they do not feel welcomed or valued in their post-primary school while almost half had experienced bullying as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“That can not be tolerated and steps should be taken to ensure Relationships and Sexual Education in post primary schools effectively addresses sexuality, gender identity and same sex relationships. We will be engaging with the Department Of Education and the Education Authority on this matter.
“The Department must also ensure the anti-bullying legislation taken forward by John O’Dowd is enacted in order to protect all children from all forms of bullying. No child should be left behind. We will continue to engage with all relevant parties to ensure that the legislation is fully implemented and to identify improvements.”