Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Lesson To Be Learned

Stoke Newington School, a secondary school in north London, claims to have almost eradicated homophobic bullying.
What? Huh? How?
Elementary, my dear readers, they simply started teaching lessons on gay history.
Students learn about World War II code-breaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide after being prosecuted for being gay, and forced to choose between prison or taking female hormones.
The school also features studies on gay authors like Oscar Wilde and James Baldwin, and artist Andy Warhol.
Music teacher Elly Barnes developed the lessons with colleagues five years ago--FIVE YEARS AGO--after becoming concerned about students using the word "gay" as a derogatory term, and now Stoke Newington School plans to extend the program by teaching hundreds of teachers how to "educate and celebrate" being gay.
Elly Barnes: "Many schools haven't even begun to deal with homophobia. Some still think being gay is illegal in parts of the country. By looking at famous LGBT people in history, we've changed opinions and we have had a number of pupils come out.
We have also changed the language used in the school. I used to hear the word gay used all the time as a derogatory term. Now we hardly hear it."

And that kind of silence is surely golden.
Brava to Elly Barnes and the Stoke Newington School. Brava!



Wonder Man said...

good, time to educate the kids

froggy said...

And the world did not end! And the whole school did not spontaneously turn gay! Marriages did not collapse! Things just got calmer, friendlier and BETTER!

Mind Of Mine said...

Froggy - Could not agree more. However eradicated seems like an exaggeration.

But I do believe only good can come from this.

Biki said...

This, this is what should be taught in all schools! This woman deserves to win woman of the century! Thanks for posting this!

madtexter (corey james) said...

WOW! Bob, I am floored at this news. You know, sometimes it just takes one person to stand up and say 'NO MORE' to make a difference.

It's stories like these that give me hope that during my lifetime I will see that the whole 'gay issue' will become a non-issue. I know we are headed that way, and there is still a long road of acceptance ahead of us, but we WILL get there. We MUST.