Tackling Homophobia in Schools

Tackling Homophobia in Schools: Oldham

As part of Naz and Matt Foundation’s strategy of tackling religious homophobia, I was invited by a lovely teacher at Hathershaw College to come to his school to talk about the dangers of religious homophobia and bullying, and also the work that we do at our Foundation to tackle these.

Over a two day period I presented 5 x 45 minute talks, to five groups of students, in two different schools. My presentation included a screening of our Foundation’s short film, “The Search for Sunrise“.

I was invited to sit in on one of the morning school assemblies which today discussed homosexuality, being LGBT and reinforcing the fact that homophobia is a “hate crime”, and why it must always be reported.

Thank you Hathershaw College and North Chadderton School for inviting me this week, and for your kind hospitality. Your students haven given me new hope for a better, more accepting world for us all to live in.

Feedback from Hathershaw College:

An emotional, thought provoking and inspiring talk on the dangers of homophobia within religion

As a teacher you often find yourself telling somebody else’s story. You deliver messages that, no matter how strongly you believe them, are other people’s.

You recount other people’s lives, dreams, disasters, hopes and ambitions in the hope that you can in turn inspire, educate or motivate your students. There is however no substitute for hearing the story from the person themselves. When the story is that of Matthew Ogston and Nazim Mahmood this is even more so the case.

By encapsulating our students with the tragic yet inspiring story of their love, Matthew got over his message much better than any teacher ever could. When you have students in absolute silence, engrossed in Matthew’s message, you know that this story is one which has to be told. By the end of the session even the most hardened sixteen year old was deep in thought and many others were in tears. I have sat through many a talk from visiting speakers; none have had the impact that Matthew had when he visited Hathershaw.

I hope he can visit again in the future and keep us up-to-date with his vital crusade to ensure that all parents love their children despite their sexuality.

Funds permitting, our Foundation would like to visit more schools across the UK. To help make this possible, please donate as all of our activities are funded from the kindness and generosity from people like you.

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(Photo credit with thanks: Hathershaw College)