EDP readers back pop star Will Young’s call for schools to crack down on pejorative use of the word “gay”

Will Young. Picture: Ian Burt

Will Young. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

EDP readers have backed a call from pop star Will Young for schools to crack down on the use of the word 'gay' as an insult.

His plea came as schools across the region marked national Anti-Bullying Week.

In an interview with the Times Educational Supplement, Mr Young said: 'In fairness, Ofsted is pretty good when it comes to looking at homophobic language, but I think part of the reason is that language and the use of the word 'gay' has not come under the definition of homophobia.

'Secondary school heads don't see it as being homophobic and many say it happens so often 'how are we going to tackle it?' And a lot of the time they see it as just kids being kids.'

In an online poll, 67pc of the more than 350 people who voted said they agreed with the pop star, while 31pc disagreed.

This week, anti-bullying ambassadors from Sprowston High School visited year six pupils at Sprowston Junior to answer questions about high school life, while anti-bullying ambassadors took assemblies at Long Stratton High School.

Children at Necton Primary School, near Swaffham, focused on the dangers of cyber bullying, with a slogan The future is ours: safe, fun and connected.

Anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label this week claimed there was a crisis in support for young people.

It surveyed more than 10,000 people online aged between 13 and 22, and found that 42pc want more education on minority groups and equality, while 38pc said they wanted to see an increase in education about the effects of bullying on young people. South West Norfolk MP and education minister Elizabeth Truss said: 'We will not tolerate any form of bullying in schools.

'No child should have to suffer the fear and victimisation of bullying. Every school must have measures in place by law to prevent it and thanks to our new curriculum, children will soon be taught how to stay safe online, including cyber-bullying, from the age of five.

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'We have strengthened the powers teachers have to tackle bullying. They can search pupils for banned items, delete inappropriate images from phones and give out same day detentions.

'We are also providing more than £4m to a range of anti-bullying organisations to help schools develop strategies to tackle the problem and deal with the impact when it occurs.'

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What are the best ways to tackle bullying? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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