The second edition of the National Ranking of LGBTQ+ Friendly Schools has launched. Students, alumni and staff can fill out a survey in which they will assess the situation of LGBTQ+ community at their school. It is not only an excellent guide for all those who will be choosing their alma mater in September, but also a signal for the teaching staff and the school management whether people from discriminated groups can feel safe at their school.
Every student should feel welcome at school
In Poland school is compulsory. Until the age of 18 everyone must attend classes. Young people are in the education system from an early age – so teachers have a huge influence on their upbringing and future life.
An LGBT+ teenager who constantly hears about „f*ggs” or „locking gays up in camps” goes through a real hell, which often ends in a suicide ideations or even attempts. Such behaviour would have been considered mobbing at work, but at school it is often ignored or, even worse, is quietly condoned by the staff.
Law targeting LGBT community
Lex Czarnek was supposed to introduce censorship on presence of social organizations in school, and implicitly eliminate equality, media, legal, sexual education opening access to schools at most to Catholic and nationalist groups.
The president’s veto prevented the implementation of this medieval law, but the overall chilling effect has already taken its toll. School principals are afraid to invite organizations to collaborate with them for fear of negative consequences from the school superintendence.
Meanwhile, it is nonprofit organizations – small resilient organisms that can quickly shift to tasks based on the need of the moment – that can help solve the problems posed in education.
Children, they will build our country
Going to an authoritarian run school, where the principal is afraid of the superintendent, the teacher is afraid of the principal and the student is afraid of the teacher, makes for a toxic educational environment.
A sense of security and trust in teachers allows students to focus on what they come to school for after all – learning. At this challenging, for teenagers, time, the school should not make it difficult for young people hrough discrimination and bullying, both from peers and, unfortunately, often also from staff.
More information about the ranking is available at lgbtplusme.com