SCOTLAND has travelled some distance in recent years in recognising the problem of transgender bullying that some young people face. Even a decade ago and certainly in the 1990s and 1980s, such targeting of vulnerable and isolated minorities was given scant regard in public discourse.

It's all too easy to congratulate ourselves on the progress made in recent years with legislation passed creating a specific offence of transgender aggravated hate crime.

The legalisation of same sex marriage and the scrapping at the start of the devolution era of the pernicious Section 28 (2A) that prohibited teachers from talking about gay relationships, could suggest that the battle for a tolerant society is largely won.

But figures showing not only a surge in transgender hate crime, but that children perpetrate such attacks, is a shocking reminder of very real failings that remain.

Bullying and abuse of any kind are always unacceptable, and it would be complacent to believe we do not have lingering issues of racism, sexism and homophobia. Clearly, transgender prejudice remains an area we have yet to get to grips with.

For that reason, the Sunday Herald commends initiatives such as the Time For Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign to make it a legal requirement that such issues are part of the school curriculum. We welcome the Scottish Government's launch of a working group on the issue, and would urge ministers to legislate swiftly.

However, parents must also set an example to children in the way they behave towards others, so that transphobic abuse comes to be seen as unacceptable as any other form of prejudice.