Take a stand against hate crime – that’s the message coming from North Yorkshire County Council as it backs National Hate Crime Awareness Week (14-21 October) as part of its work to support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (LGBT ) young people in North Yorkshire.

The county council has a national track record for the education, training and support it gives to lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people and about the issues they face.    Indeed Stonewall, Britain’s lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity, has named North Yorkshire as one of the best local authorities in Britain for tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and celebrating difference in its schools.

LGBT young people from across the county came together earlier this year at an event organised by the county council. They discussed what was going well for them living in North Yorkshire, and what would make it better. Many of the young people who attended the event spoke about the improving situation in schools with less bullying but many were still experiencing hate crime out in their communities with prejudice, hostile language and behaviour directed towards them, and many were uncertain how to report it.

“All young people in North Yorkshire should be supported to achieve to their full potential in life and hate crime has no place in our county,” said County Councillor Janet Sanderson, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Children’s Services.

“We have been ahead of the game working hard with our schools over a number of years and carrying out an action plan to ensure that the needs of LGBT young people are taken into account.”

“We’re providing training for teachers in secondary and primary schools that supports them to challenge homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and celebrate difference. Schools have also been provided with guidance  for dealing with and reporting prejudice and hate crime incidents.

“However we always strive to do more and work is now underway with schools to support them raise awareness and understanding about hate crime and to encourage young people to report hate crime”.

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