Four teenagers charged after ‘homophobic abuse’ at LGBTI+ event

LGBTI+ youth subjected to homophobia at event to discuss their experiences of bullying

FOUR teenagers have been arrested and charged after an event for LGBTI+ young people was subjected to homophobic abuse.

The four males, aged between 13 and 15, were arrested on Sunday 7 August following the incident on Thursday 4 August at Boghall Parish Church in Bathgate in West Lothian.

Young people had been meeting to discuss their experience of homophobic bullying as part of the filming of a documentary investigating the movement for LGBTI+ inclusive education in Scotland when the incident happened.

The shocking reality of LGBTI+ experiences in Scottish schools revealed

Responding to the incident, Sergeant John Fleming from Bathgate Police Station said: “Hate crime in any form will not be tolerated within West Lothian and whenever such incidents occur we will investigate them thoroughly to identify those responsible.”

The incident took place during the filming of a documentary about the Time for Inclusive Education (Tie) campaign, which is advocating that Scottish schools teach pupils about the whole spectrum of sexualities and sexual and gender identities. The campaign has begun it’s own programme of teacher training, which also includes training on how to deal with homophobic bullying in a school environment.

The campaign was founded over a year ago by activists concerned by the endemic rates of self-harm and suicide among LGBTI+ student in Scotland’s schools caused by bullying and isolation.

A Tie spokesperson said: “While we are appalled at this incident, unfortunately we are not surprised - we hear reports from young people who face abuse like this on a regular basis. This further emphasises the fact that a new approach to dealing with homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes amongst young people is urgently required.”

How the LGBT+ Tie campaign made Scotland sit up and notice

The Tie campaign has raised the issue of the homophobic abuse and bullying experienced by young LGBTI+ people in Scotland to prominence in the past year, and will be heading up the Glasgow Pride procession on 20 August.

Picture courtesy Tie campaign

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