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Recently I noticed a petition in my local church that was to be sent to Donald Dewar opposing the repeal of section 28 which bans the promotion of homosexuality in schools Many people did not want their children and grandchildren to know anything about homosexuality This made me think should homosexuality be taught in Scottish schools The response to section 28 has been very different in different parts of the country Section 28 has never been used in court to stop a local authority doing anything Although some local authorities have gone ahead and produced documents in partnership with organisations such as Stonewall youth project to support young lesbian gay bisexual and transgender pupils others have taken the opposite view Perth and Kinross council refused to give a grant to Dundee Lesbian Gay and Bisexual Switchboard specifically citing section 28 as a reason for not giving a grant Authorities responses have been different because section 28 is badly worded and legally does not mean anything at all its only effect is to act as a disincentive Section 28 does not directly affect schools or teachers just local authorities Nevertheless according to the Playing it Safe survey by the University of London 56 of teachers surveyed said that they felt that section 28 prevented them from giving such good advice and support to young lesbian gay and bisexual pupils as they might otherwise be able to give Young LGBT people do not have equal opportunities in education at the moment neither in schools nor in college environments The biggest single problem for young people if you ask them is that of bullying and harassment It is something that affects LGBT pupils directly but other people too Anybody can be homophobically bullied - they do not have to be gay to be a victim of that Bullying and harassment also affects people who have not come out as being gay The effect on
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