School pupils being bullied for their sexuality were advised by teachers to act "less gay" to make life easier for themselves, according to a report.
Other children were allegedly told to wear their hair differently if they wanted to avoid being picked on.
The advice emerged in a report for Essex County Council following a specialist conference for more than 250 teachers and pupils who talked of their day-to-day experiences in schools.
The report said some experiences reveal teachers were insensitive to the needs of bullied youngsters and claims some educators had received "very little" training in dealing with the challenges they face.
According to the "Anti Bullying Work" report, prepared for a council meeting this week, youngsters were asked about what would help make them feel safer in schools because "there was an overriding feeling that our current practices are having a minimal effect."
Julie Keating, the council's principal officer for anti-bullying, compiled the report and revealed how pupils have called for teachers to be more accepting of people's differences.
She stated there was "anecdotal evidence on the day of students being told to act less gay or to wear their hair differently as teachers felt they were making themselves a target for bullies".
The report continues: "Teachers received very little training at college around bullying and most would welcome additional support and guidance.
"As a consequence the Young Essex Assembly is developing a number of activities and resources to tackle these issues."
The school where the "act less gay" comments were made is not named, but the county council has called on teachers to think about the advice being given to youngsters.
The claims have infuriated anti-bullying and gay rights campaigners.
Jordan Newell, a gay rights campaigner, said: "I am incredibly shocked by this report.
"It is incredibly stark and paints a picture that teachers are holding up their hands and not trying to defend pupils who are expressing their differences.
"In doing so, they are failing to defend some pretty basic principals in terms of bullying and anti-bullying.
"It seems that there is a complete lack of understanding of the issue and how to tackle bullies."
One 14-year-old from a school in Westcliff, Essex, said: "I have been bullied and the teachers did not do much about it.
"It is not that they don't want to help, it's that they don't know how to."
Sherry Adhami, director of communications at the Beat Bullying charity, said: "This demonstrates to me that there is a need for help, support and guidance for teachers to deal with these situations.
"Because someone is a particular way, the victim should not have to change their ways, particularly on issues of such sensitivity as sexuality, race, colour or religion.
"An integrated approach is needed and we lobby for teachers to be trained on anti-bullying, anti-violence as well as cyberbullying because times have changed and it is really important for the protection of children that teachers are able to cope with the demands which are being placed on them."
The National Union of Teachers have labelled the comments as "inappropriate".
An Essex County Council spokeswoman said: "The council takes bullying very seriously and would hope all teachers are sensible in giving the right advice to pupils.
"The Young Essex Assembly held a conference to allow children to talk in an open and constructive environment about bullying within schools.
"All the information and anecdotal evidence gathered at the event will shape the work of the Young Essex Assembly.
"And, as a result, it is developing an anti-bullying information pack, which will be given to trainee teachers to help them cope with this serious issue."
Being Transgender or Gay is not a choice, being Transphobic or Homophobic is, so don't be a Twonk