Wednesday 13 December 2017

Primary teachers given new guide to tackle gay bullying

Members of the INTO LGBT Teachers group, left to right, Ciara Fagan, Dion O'Caoimh and Cecelia Gavigan
Members of the INTO LGBT Teachers group, left to right, Ciara Fagan, Dion O'Caoimh and Cecelia Gavigan

Primary teachers are being issued with new guidelines on how to help tackle homophobic bullying.

The Irish National Teachers' Organisation (INTO) has developed the guide in association with its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) group and GLEN.

Sheila Nunan, the general secretary of the INTO said that primary school teachers play a central role in creating a classroom and school environment where all children are safe, affirmed and respected.

"They also play a central role in tackling and preventing bullying," she said.

Meanwhile, Cecelia Gavigan of the INTO LGBT Teachers' group said that up to now, many teachers were unsure of how they could appropriately and sensitively deal with homophobic and transphobic bullying and inclusion.

"Primary school teachers really welcome this resource; now they have clear, innovative and practical resources to support them in implementing the department's anti-bullying procedures and ensuring that all children in their classrooms are respected and valued."

Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan launched the guide for primary schools which is called "Respect: Creating a positive school climate to prevent homophobic and transphobic bullying in primary school."

"Every primary school classroom has children from a diverse range of backgrounds and family types. Every child needs to feel that they belong and are welcomed, respected and valued," she said

"The Respect resource we are launching will support the whole primary school community in creating an inclusive and positive school climate, so that all children can flourish to the best of their abilities," she said.

It is an issue that is being looked at in the UK also. The Labour Party has promised "zero tolerance" of homophobic language and bullying in England's schools, under new plans.


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