Source: The Mercury, 17 January 1995, p. 7


School gay policy sought

GAY and lesbian students and
teachers suffer frequent verbal and
physical abuse in schools across Aus-
tralia, a new survey has revealed.

  The study of more than 150 gay and
lesbian students and teachers, from
schools in all states except Tasmania,
recommended that education depart-
ments introduce anti-homophobia
policies and grievance procedures to
protect students.

  The report said teachers and stu-
dents were guilty of harassment. The
main findings of the survey were:

* 59 per cent of those surveyed re-
ported verbal harassment and 21 per
cent reported threats of violence.

* 18 per cent reported physical vio-
lence including being punched, being
hit with a plank of wood, hit with eggs
and being pushed down stairs.

* Almost 10 per cent of the students
and ex-students surveyed said a
teacher was guilty of harassment. Of
the students who reported violent
physical attacks, 22 per cent said they
had been attacked at least 10 times.

  The author of the report, Sydney
teacher Jacqui Griffin, said yesterday
that while most of those surveyed
were from New South Wales, the
results could be applied to other
states.


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