Gloucestershire pupils tackle bullying with Gandalf
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.