Montrose pupils tackle LGBT issues in school

MAPP co-chairs Amanda Spark and Maureen Esplin MAPP co-chairs present a cheque to pupils involved in the project.
MAPP co-chairs Amanda Spark and Maureen Esplin MAPP co-chairs present a cheque to pupils involved in the project.

Montrose Academy pupils have been examining LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) bullying and inclusion issues within the school.

In a report by LGBT Scotland, it was revealed that 52 per cent of LGBT young people had experienced homophobic bullying in schools.

Five S6 girls chose to look into this when deciding on a topic to investigate to achieve their Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies Belief and Values award.

The group were visited by Graham Ross, the LGBT Scotland education officer who works with schools across the country, to help them become LGBT inclusive. He suggested that the school aim to achieve the Bronze Charter award.

The award, which helps support schools to become more LGBT inclusive, involves raising awareness on this issue throughout the school through posters and form time challenges and making sure the school addresses this topic effectively. The pupils also set up a lunchtime support group. As well as this, 20 per cent of teachers have undergone training from Graham.

A school spokesperson said: “I’m proud of the hard work and dedication by these pupils which has already started to have a massive impact throughout the school.

‘‘By displaying the Charter, we send a positive message to LGBT people in our school that they are included, valued, supported and will be treated fairly.”

The teacher training cost £400 in total which the pupils in the group are fundraising for themselves. The Montrose Academy Parent Partnership supported the group with a cheque for £150.

Bake sales have also been held, and pupils and staff are taking part in a sponsored walk this Sunday (May 15).

If any members of the public wish to show their support for the group, there will be a meeting under the Ball House at 12.15pm on the day of the sponsored walk to ask any questions or make donations if they wish.