Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, has challenged the Welsh Government on the prevalence of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Welsh schools, following homophobic tweeting at openly gay rugby referee Nigel Owens.
During today’s First Minister’s Questions, Kirsty referred to a recent Stonewall Cymru report which demonstrated that teachers didn’t feel equipped enough to deal with homophobia in schools.
Kirsty Williams AM, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, said:
“The absolutely vile tweet directed at Nigel Owens over the weekend demonstrates that, sadly, homophobia is still alive and kicking in Welsh communities.
“The most effective thing we can do to eradicate all forms of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia from daily life is to start in our schools. Taking positive action in our education system to celebrate diversity and take a no-tolerance approach to discriminatory bullying is the only way we will ensure people don’t develop these offensive attitudes.
“The crucial role that education plays in eradicating homophobia makes the true situation in Welsh schools more alarming. When the vast majority of school staff aren’t trained to spot homophobic bullying, how are we meant to foster positive change?
“It’s disappointing to see that the Welsh Labour Government has no proactive strategy in place to deal with homophobic bullying in schools. If we are to create a welcoming environment in schools for people of any sexuality, we need action to help staff feel confident in calling out this sort of behaviour.”