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Gloucestershire pupils tackle bullying with Gandalf

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: November 30, 2009

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PUPILS got a celebrity lesson in tackling bullying when they had a visit from Sir Ian McKellen today.

The celebrated actor headed a session of drama workshops for pupils, answered questions and even gave his own dramatic performance when he visited Severn Vale School in Quedgeley.

But Sir Ian, who starred as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and as Magneto in the X-Men films, had a very important message for students and staff about homophobic bullying.

"There has been a huge change in this country over the last 20 years in people's regard for gay people.

"For too long gay people were frightened to declare themselves. I wanted to change people who were discriminating against gay people and that is pretty much being achieved now, some schools are really facing up to deal with it and some are not, but this is one that is.

"There is a wonderful atmosphere her in this school and people are genuinely helping each other.

"My impression is more schools should be like this one and Gloucestershire should be very proud."

The event was linked with anti-bullying week and drew attention on how bullying can blight young lives. Drama students performed their own play about homophobic bullying.

For more, see tomorrow's Citizen.

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    Dissapointed Svs Student, Quedgeley  |  December 05 2009, 7:06PM

    Probably not even half the school were able to even get a glimpse of him. He had a body armor of like 20 teachers. His performance was apparently good, but i wouldn't know, didnt get a chance to see it. To be honest it was a massive let down. A big hype about it and not even getting a glance.

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    Svs student, Quedgeley  |  December 01 2009, 4:13PM

    I was dissapointed with the vist as it was only a minority that got to see sir ian. Most students were turned away for only trying to see him, the teachers were so worried about if anything should happen that they put up a makeshift barricade using the school dinner tables. The only mention that the majority got about anti homophobia was the dinner ladies wearing special t shirts. Overall a dissapointment.