School for me is scary!

LGBT1

Today it is almost impossible to be unconscious of LGBT trend in education and especially in schools which to some extent is being popularized globally. LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. ‘How you see me’ and ‘LGBT High School Students Share Their Experiences’ videos give a sharp-cut notion of existing problem, bullying and verbal harassment of LGBT youth in schools. “School for me is scary…”, “My mates are nitpicking me…”, “I am tired of being unnoticed…”, “I am afraid because I do not know how my friends will perceive me…” are some responses of students with non-traditional sexual orientation. Slater (2013) who strongly supports all-inclusive education claims that “all American youth are in dire need of inclusive sex education to improve their health outcomes and help build safe school environments where they can thrive.” She also marks the importance of stopping inaccurate, exclusionary, and ineffective programs that discriminate students.

All these rises a question: how three trend-setting countries deal with harassment of LGBT youth in schools?

gay-locker

United States: an Identity-Based Model.

The rich history of identity-based movements in the U.S. (civil, women’s) provoked and prepared the LGBT movement for social change. While there is still much to be done to break the cycle of marginalization of LGBT youth in schools in the US, the US model shows promise and is aimed at both interpersonal and structural harassment. The states’ anti-bullying legislation awaits Senate approval.

 Germany: A Unity Based Model.

Although LGBT activism is relatively less strong, the accent there is made on increasing the comfort with sexuality among youth. The sex education is integrated into classes such as English, Biology, German, Literature and others. Germany’s model is one that offers many lessons to LGBT and motivates them to learn.

Brazil: Making Change from the Top.

The politicians taking action in culture shifting and combining two previously mentioned samples are the key components of the Brazilian model. The components also include widespread teacher training, in-school support from civil society, youth-focused school evaluations, and a hybrid of state to create schools with LGBT inclusive education. (Wagoner, 2010).

There is almost no data about this tendency in Kazakhstan’s education system which points to the fact that fortunately the LGBT is not the case in our schools. Kazakhstan was among countries which were against enactment of “The UN Declaration on Sexual Orientation and Gender” in 2009. Moreover, the legislation prohibits marriage between people of the same sex since 2011. (Law on marriage, 2011). However since LGBT in schools is the worldwide issue it would be injudicious not to prepare an educational system for an upcoming unwanted change.

References

Law on marriage in Republic of Kazakhstan. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.zakon.kz/page,1,1,4470289-v-novom-kodekse-rk-o-brake-i-seme.html.

Photos retrieved from 1) http://www.howcoolbrandsstayhot.com/2014/04/09/lgbt-millennials-what-how-and-why-infographic/. 2) http://www.hercampus.com/school/u-ottawa/short-term-solution-long-term-problem-are-lgbt-schools-realistic-solution-much.

Slater, H. (2013). LGBT-Inclusive Sex Education Means Healthier Youth and Safer Schools. Retrieved from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2013/06/21/67411/lgbt-inclusive-sex-education-means-healthier-youth-and-safer-schools/.

Video retrieved from https://youtu.be/wxHHstcyP4I.

Video retrieved from https://youtu.be/iAwJQYs7pKM.

Wagoner, J. (2010). Advocates for Youth. 2000 M Street NW, Suite 750 Washington, DC 20036. Retrieved from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org.

 

 

4 thoughts on “School for me is scary!

  1. Hello yasawi859,
    Thank you for the informative post about how different countries battle discrimination in their education systems. However, even if the tone of the article is overall in favour of those measures, some of the concluding remarks left me wondering what is your opinion on this topic. For example the phrase “unwanted change” slightly confused me in connection with measures which are described to be taken to stop bullying in schools, and the phrase “fact that fortunately the LGBT is not the case in our schools” suggests that it is a proven fact with data to support it. Overall the article is very informative, but I was also interested in what you had to say about this.

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  2. @yasawi859, I applaud your willingness to tackle a controversial topic (5/5). I would agree with the previous comment, that your tone shifts dramatically in the final paragraph. The first 75% of the text is clearly informative, with examples and explanations about LGBT issues around the world. Your tone there is objective and balanced. However, in your final paragraph, you italicize some key words that emphasize a more emotional or subjective point of view. One of the big challenges in discussing controversial topics is to remain objective and to acknowledge any biases or assumptions that you bring to the piece. If you write that LGBT issues are (fortunately) not widely discussed in schools in Kazakhstan, you are showing your point of view. This is fine, but as the previous comment mentions, it should be followed with evidence and explanations. Why is is fortunate that no one discusses this issue? If it is because the “problem” doesn’t exist here, it may be helpful to point out why you think that is the case. If it is that there are LGBT voices in Kazkahstan, but they keep silent out of fear, then some people may see that as the opposite of “fortunate”. Keep the discussion going!

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  3. Dear Dumankhan, thank you for this controversial post! I think this blog about LGBT students in school is aligned with Fariza’s post on sex education https://nuwritersguild.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/sex-education-in-primary-school/. Schools should provide sex education classes where pupils will get information on LGBT community from the specialist, not from parents or friends who can be ignorant in this question. It will help to reduce or even eliminate discrimination in schools. I agree with you on the point that even though Kazakhstani schools did not face with this question yet, it is important to learn the experience of different countries to be prepared. However, as Mr. Philip mentioned, it could seem that our schools didn’t face with this issue because LGBT people in Kazakhstan are silent out of fear.

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  4. I am sorry, @yasawi859, but I think it is unfortunate that you see a greater visibility of LGBT youth as an unwanted change. I think we, as educators, should be especially sensitive to the issues of identity and diversity, and make every possible effort to keep schools safe comfortable for everybody, not just for those who conform to the standard. You say that the lack of data on LGBT in Kazakhstan is an indication that Kazakhstan is LGBT-free, but it’s very unlikely. What is likely, is that these young people constantly feel they don’t belong and suffer silently from bullying, depression, and suicide, just like in most other countries where these issues are at least studied and discussed.

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