Our Law Must Protect Lesbian And Gay Students.
Dismissing students based on their sexual orientation, lesbian or gay is "education discrimination," because students have their rights under the Human Rights Law, dismissing student under the pretext of sexual orientation is a violation under unlawful discrimination.
Harassment against lesbian, gay and trans-gender individuals has received considerable media coverage over the past few years, as a wave of suicides, including the death of many students. An 18 year old student at Rutgers University who jumped off the George Washington Bridge in 2010 called into question of protective policies, if any, might stave off tragic outcome.
No where are these preventative measures more critical than in the classrooms, hallways and schoolyards where students spend most of their time. Thousands students ages 12-18 who are suspected to be lesbians and gays are bullied at school of which most are subjected to cyber-bullying. besides most of those students suffer in isolation as victims of anti-(gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans-gender)bullying, mostly physically assaulted for instance punched, kicked or injured with a weapon because of their sexual orientation.
Our policymakers and school administrators must find a civilised way of addressing problems and the rights of lesbian and gay students instead of barbarically dismissing them. No matter how many student you dismiss because of lesbian and gay act, it will still happening in schools.
School administrators must think of some cultured, civilised and non barbaric ways to handle the issue, like:
- Addressing the struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender youth in schools without alienating or further stigmatising such students.
- Adopting measures to assisting parents who don't know how to tackle such situation or are worried because their children are too young to talk about sexual orientation.
- Develop new programs to combat harassment as school budgets continue to deplete.
- Organising students weekly or monthly meeting to debate civil liberties, social justice issues and youth activism.
- Empowering students with the knowledge that they have the right to be safe, free and feel comfortable in the school.
- Find solutions to push back from members of the community who believe these conversations don't belong in classrooms.
It is the duty of the policymakers and school administrators to make sure everyone is safe in school.
Some student may have a strong religious belief that homosexuality is sinful behaviour. Others too might have never been exposed to the issue and are afraid to talk about it. There will be other students too who are trying, but don't know what to do and there will be people who might think they are bigoted and would never like to talk about it.
The environmental climate for students in their various schools must be very open to such an extent that students wouldn't be scared to express themselves individually or to decide to come out openly and tell everyone their personal feelings or opinions than harbouring some fears, to talk about themselves until they were with friends that they really trust.
Students do secret things due to the primitive and non aristocratic sort of school administration and governance prevailing in their various environs.
School principals or headmasters must see to promote a dignity act coordination, for example masters or teachers must find ways to incorporate lessons about civility, acceptance and the harmful effects of bullying into everyday class activities in the schools to promote and hope for a better culture change.
Taking away the Division of Human Rights mechanism from students, will have a negative effect on students as well as parents to enforce their rights. Therefore dismissing a student on the bases of his/her sexual orientation is nonsense, barbaric and primitive.
FRANCIS TAWIAH (Duisburg - Germany)
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