an old pupil writes, on behalf of the pupils of today

Coat of Arms of Ballymena Academy

It is the start of Anti Bullying week, and I have taken the opportunity to write to the headmaster of my old school, Ballymena Academy, to seek clarity on the school’s policy on bullying, particularly homophobic bullying.

Dear Headmaster,

I write to enquire what measures are being put into place in Ballymena Academy to prevent bullying, particularly the bullying of pupils and staff because of their actual or perceived sexuality.

As a concerned Old Pupil, I feel that it is part of my responsibility to the pupils of today to be concerned for their welfare – even if when I was in their place, no one seemed that bothered about the homophobic bullying that was going on.

The Rainbow Project in Belfast has revealed figures that suggest that 98% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans youth have had to suffer bullying and harassment at school as a result of being lgbt. Thirty per cent of this bullying and harassment has been at the hand of adults.

I note from the school’s website that the Anti Bullying Guidelines stated that staff are expected to :

  • use teaching materials which do not give a negative view of any group because of their ethnic origin, gender etc.,

I am asking what the full categories  – hiding behind the ‘etc.’ – are left unmentioned or unstated explicitly.

I would be grateful if you could get back to me as soon as possible.

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