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British LGBT Students Face Inconsistent Treatment In Schools: Study

A new study conducted by a British university has revealed some stunning new inconsistencies in the U.K.'s approach to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils.

As Pink News is reporting, the report -- titled "Tackling Homophobia and Transphobia In Settings Supporting Young People" and published to coincide with Anti-Bullying Week -- interviewed students, teachers and youth workers about their experience in South Yorkshire. Among the revelations: some LGBT students are reportedly "being instructed to get changed for Physical Education (PE) away from other pupils."

The study, which you can download in full here, notes:

"Perhaps not surprisingly, this made them feel singled out and excluded, and contributed to some not attending PE and/or school. When one group member had complained about this practice they had been told they were 'causing a fuss,' whilst another in a different school was told it was for 'their own safety.'"

As the study's author Eleanor Formby is quoted as saying:

"This study suggests that whilst many young people and staff strongly believe in equality for LGBT groups, there is still a clear view among some that same-sex relationships are 'different,' 'unnatural,' 'unfamiliar' and therefore wrong," Formby said. “It is concerning to me that young LGBT people may still face these attitudes from both their peers and professionals who ostensibly should be working towards supporting and safeguarding their wellbeing."

Among the other disturbing findings of the survey, which polled 146 students between the ages of 13 and 21, were that many LGBT people "appeared to expect, or even accept" the bullying they experienced, despite what they describe as the impact it had on their school attainment and attendance.

"The impact that being gay and being out and being bullied has on young people’s mental health is colossal," one youth worker said in response. "The amount of mental health issues in that group that we know about is immense, the ones we don’t know about make me shudder."

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