Educate against prejudice
I NOTE your article “Row as gay and lesbian college staff ‘get preferential treatment’”, The Herald, May 17) and felt the need to check the date at the top of the page – it is indeed 2018, and not 1988.
Your article alludes to some research on equality issues in post16 education – an area woefully under-researched, particularly in the experiences of LGBT+ staff and students. The responses to this survey are good old-fashioned prejudice, plain and simple.
I am glad to hear that Further Education (FE) colleges in Scotland comply with the 2010 Equalities Act – as public bodies and employers this should be a given. If this survey teaches us anything, however, it is that policies which look good on paper are not enough, and that we must actively educate and tackle prejudice and discrimination head-on.
We do not know how many LGBT+ staff and students – senior managers or otherwise – are in Scottish FE, as no one collates this data. We do not know how many LGBT+ students drop out of FE programmes after years of prejudicebased bullying in schools, or how many staff spend decades hiding their closest relationships from their peers.
We do know that until we get it right in the staffroom, we cannot possibly get it right in the classroom. Pam Currie,