The Aurora School Bullying Project
From the local press:
Stonewall case studies:
Items from the Croydon Guardian that affected public concern on school bullying and on the bullying of LGBT students in particular
Croydon Guardian 6th October 2006
The hidden peril of homophobia
By Gemma Wheatley
Patrick suffered at the hands of homophobics while he was at school, although he admits that at 15 years old he was not entirely sure of his sexuality.
But this he says is the problem, teenage bullies are making young men believe that homosexuality is wrong - whether they are gay or straight.
At 24 years old he is now comfortable with his sexuality, but feels that homophobic bullying in schools is an issue that is often ignored.
Patrick attended St Joseph's School in Beulah Hill, Crown Point and now works for McMillan Cancer Care. He is planning to begin training to become a solicitor.
He explains: "At my school, if there was anything vaguely different about you, you got it. There was a group of us who were picked on but it didn't just happen to gay people, if you didn't fit the normal' stereotype you were targeted."
According to Beatbullying, young male teenagers are at an extreme risk of homophobic bullying, regardless of sexuality.
A spokesman for the charity said: "Young men are often too afraid to ask for help or don't report the bullying for fear of highlighting the fact that they are being called gay".
Patrick added: "School is supposed to be the happiest time of your life, but for anyone who was different like I was, it really isn't. The bullying made me depressed when I was doing my GCSEs.
"But you have to remember, school is only a small world and a small part of your life even though it seems like the most important thing at the time."
It has been reported to bullying support groups and schools that boys are often targeted if they have different interests.
Charity spokesman Niall Cowley said: "All it takes is for someone to show creativity, an interest in the arts or not be so good at sports and they often find themselves receiving homophobic taunts."
He added: "The other problem is that homophobic bullying propagates the notion that being gay is a bad thing, which of course it is not.
"Very young people are learning that gay is bad before they even
understand what homosexuality actually means."