A film on homophobic bullying is to be screened in all UK secondary schools next month. The film – the first of its kind to be sent to all schools – will try to stop pupils using the word "gay" in a derogatory way. It tells the story of six teenagers – who are gay, straight or not yet sure of their sexuality – and are taking classes in hip hop dancing at a college in south London. Some come out and are bullied for it, others conceal their sexuality out of fear. The film’s director, Rikki Beadle-Blair, who wrote and played the lead role in the Channel 4 drama Metrosexuality, takes the role of the teacher. The film, FIT, is part-funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and will be sent to every secondary school next month by the gay rights charity Stonewall.
A poll of more than 2,000 teachers, commissioned by Stonewall last year, found that 90% thought homophobic bullying occurred in their school. The same percentage had not been trained in tackling the problem. A fifth said they did not feel comfortable talking about gay issues in the classroom, and one in six said they felt uneasy if a pupil asked a question about homosexuality. Chris Gibbons, Stonewall’s senior education officer, said: "Teachers are still ill-equipped and unsure of how to deal with gay issues in their classrooms." The film is adapted from a play which has been seen by 20,000 pupils in the last two years.