School drama project combats homophobic bullying

An innovative drama project aimed at combating homophobic, bi and transphobic (HBT) bullying has been developed by an Oxfordshire secondary school as part of the county council’s anti-bullying strategy.

The project at The Warriner school in Bloxham is part of ongoing efforts to confront this form of bullying, which have seen Oxfordshire named for the second year running by charity Stonewall as among the country’s leading councils for tackling the issue.

‘Project Q’ is a 20-minute drama which uses physical theatre and dialogue taken directly from interviews with young people about their experiences relating to gender, sexuality and how these are treated by their peers and adults. The play, which is followed by a question and answer session with the cast, aims to challenge its audience to think about what their school would be like to ‘come out’ in.

This is a fantastic way to get schools engaged in tackling this issue and I’d like to congratulate the pupils and staff involved. There’s growing awareness surrounding HBT bullying and schools are working hard to address it, but the active involvement of young people themselves is crucial, which is what makes this project special.
Cllr Melinda Tille, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families

Following a debut performance of Project Q earlier this month, the aim is to tour the play round the county’s secondary schools in order to raise the profile of HBT bullying and ensure more effective action is taken to safeguard young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT).

Wider work

Over the past five years the council has been working alongside the Stonewall Education Champions programme, to support schools to prevent and respond to HBT bullying more effectively.

We are very pleased to be ranked once again among the country’s very best local authorities for tackling this issue and are continuing to work with schools and other settings as part of our wider anti-bullying work.

Any young person can experience homophobic, bi-phobic or transphobic bullying, and like all forms of bullying it should never be allowed to go unchallenged.
Cllr Melinda Tille, Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families