Call for teaching of LGBT issues to be mandatory in schools

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th_emoticons_aduA NEW campaign to make the teaching of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues in schools statutory has been described as one of the “most inspiring” since the referendum.

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weight-room2school-bus-smiley-emoticonLiam Stevenson, 36 and Jordan Daly, 20, met after the referendum vote last year, having been involved in different branches of the Yes campaign.

Yesterday the two came together to call for an end to something that had affected one of their lives drastically, while the other had not even previously considered it.

The Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign calls for the statutory teaching of LGBT issues in all schools across the country, due to statistics showing disproportionately high rates of self-harm and attempted suicide amongst LGBT students.

According to the statistics from LGBT Youth Scotland and campaign group Stonewall, 54 per cent of LGBT students who have experienced direct homophobic bullying are regularly deliberately self-harming. One in four of those who are bullied attempted suicide at least once in their time at school.

tie2-310x165The petition to the Scottish Parliament demands a reform of the mandatory school curriculum, recommending the teaching of the equal rights movement, sexualities, gender identity and a more comprehensive sexual health education.

If the Scottish Government follows through on the reforms, it will be the first government in the world to have LGBT education as a statutory requirement. The only subject that Scottish schools currently must cover by law is religious education.

Father-of-one Liam had not previously had any involvement in gay rights issues. It was only after meeting Jordan, who told Liam he was gay, that the 36-year-old became aware of the struggle LGBT children face every day in schools.

at-school-smiley-emoticonInspired by the referendum campaign, the pair decided it was “no longer enough to just write to your MSP” and are now making their first foray into the political world.

“Had it not been for the referendum I wouldn’t have realised that you can actually get out and make a difference yourself,” said Jordan. “There would have been no TIE campaign.”

“Despite not getting the Yes vote another Scotland is still possible – we just have to shape it ourselves,” said Liam.

“The campaign gave me the confidence to go and stand up at meetings and approach subjects like this.”

As a youngster, Jordan was frightened to be gay, and tried to change his sexuality, even contemplating suicide, because he felt he could not speak to anyone about it.

s9911The situation Jordan faced is not uncommon. Fifty-three per cent of LGBT students feel unable to talk openly to any adult within their school about their sexual orientation, and 71 per cent regularly play truant.

When Jordan told Liam he had considered suicide as a teenager, the 36-year-old had to go to the bathroom to compose himself. Although he had read the statistics, he didn’t expect to hear about it first-hand.

Moved by his account, Liam decided to join with Jordan in trying to change school life for future students.

Since the launch, Scottish Greens co-Convenor Patrick Harvie, human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar and Unite’s Bryan Simpson have all backed the TIE campaign, as have leading LGBT groups.

Encouraging others to sign the petition to make teaching of LGBT issues mandatory, Anwar said the freedom to love who you want was “one of the most fundamental human rights”.

“When people are being murdered because of their sexuality, or forced to live a lie for fear of attack, it is essential that our schools take the lead in exposing and tackling such discrimination,” he said.

Cat Boyd and Jonathon Shafi from the Radical Independence Campaign and Common Weal’s Robin McAlpine have also spoken in support of the movement.

McAlpine described the campaign as one of the “most inspiring to have emerged from the recent political awakening of Scotland”, while Boyd said that “education absolutely must be accessible to everyone”.

Jordan said: “Education is one of the big last dominoes which need to topple, and I would like to see Scotland being the first to set an example and tackle this.”
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The petition will be live online for six weeks before it goes to a parliamentary committee at Holyrood in August. More than 300 people signed it on the first day.


ARTICLE BY – STEFAN SCHMID FOR THE NATIONAL – JUNE 30TH, 2015


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The National Union of Teachers conference backed a resolution calling for moves to tackle homophobia in schools

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Nicky Morgan appoints gay rights campaigner as adviser

57447908554833925025.Nicky Morgan.png-500x0Education secretary Nicky Morgan has appointed the head of education at gay rights charity Stonewall as her special adviser.

Luke Tryl, who has worked with Stonewall on a range of campaigns aimed at tackling homophobic bullying, will take up his new job with immediate effect.

The move will be seen by some as an attempt to quell fears over Ms Morgan’s stance toward gay rights after she voted against same-sex marriage in the House of Commons earlier this year.

Her promotion by prime minister David Cameron to education secretary and minister for women and equalities in the cabinet reshuffle earlier this month had attracted serious criticism, particularly as she will be overseeing issues such as homophobic bullying in schools.

Her appointment as education secretary led to Michael Cashman, the founder of Stonewall and a former Labour MEP, to tweet: “Nicky Morgan in charge of education and equalities is deeply worrying. The true nature of the Tory party is unchanged and reverting to type.”

But Mr Tryl’s appointment will go some way to allay any fears, due to his work with Stonewall in schools.

Speaking to the gay news service Pink News earlier this month, Mr Tryl said: “Homophobic bullying is almost endemic in our secondary schools; that children in primary schools, children as young as five are using phrases like ‘that’s so gay’. There’s still a huge amount more to do.

“We really believe that at the heart of tackling homophobic bullying is good quality teacher training.

“Too many teachers are coming out of their teacher training never having talked about issues like homophobic bullying, which, ten years on from the repeal of section 28, is pretty worrying.”

All the latest education news for teachers and school leaders, brought to you by the TES editorial team
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Adult Bully’s “The Five Types”

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I am re-blogging this post which I origanally posted Feb 21, 2013, as there are others that need re-posting as well, this being the first. “Adult Bully’s The Five Types”, the one we are dealing with 90% of the time is number one, The Narcissistic Adult Bully, please read the description below: “You may not hear a lot about adult bullying, but it is a problem. Read this article to learn more about different types of adult bullies and get some ideas on how to deal with an adult bully. Adult bullying is a serious problem and may require legal action. One would think that as people mature and progress through life, that they would stop behaviors of their youth. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sadly, adults can be bullies, just as children and teenagers can be bullies. While adults are more likely to use verbal bullying as opposed to physical bullying, the fact of the matter is that adult bullying exists. The goal of an adult bully is to gain power over another person, and make himself or herself the dominant adult. They try to humiliate victims, and “show them who is boss.” There are several different types of adult bullies, and it helps to know how they operate:

  1. Narcissistic Adult Bully
  2. first-place

    This type of adult bully is self-centered and does not share empathy with others. Additionally, there is little anxiety about consequences. He or she seems to feel good about him or herself, but in reality has a brittle narcissism that requires putting others down.

  3. Impulsive Adult Bully:
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    Adult bullies in this category are more spontaneous and plan their bullying out less. Even if consequences are likely, this adult bully has a hard time restraining his or her behavior. In some cases, this type of bullying may be unintentional, resulting in periods of stress, or when the bully is actually upset or concerned about something unconnected with the victim.

  5. Physical Bully:
  6. third4While adult bullying rarely turns to physical confrontation, there are, nonetheless, bullies that use physicality. In some cases, the adult bully may not actually physically harm the victim, but may use the threat of harm, or physical domination through looming. Additionally, a physical bully may damage or steal a victim’s property, rather than physically confronting the victim.

  7. Verbal Adult Bully:
  8. 4thWords can be quite damaging. Adult bullies who use this type of tactic may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate another person. This subtle type of bullying also has the advantage – to the bully – of being difficult to document. However, the emotional and psychological impacts of verbal bullying can be felt quite keenly and can result in reduced job performance and even depression.

  9. Secondary Adult Bully:

2pm153-hr904-2This is someone who does not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary bullies may feel bad about what they are doing, but are more concerned about protecting themselves. (Definitions courtesy of Bullying Statistics http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/)

Other Articles:

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A Powerful Message On Bullying!

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This Is The Most Powerful Message On Bullying I’ve Ever Seen!

When you have a passion, nothing can distract you, not even schoolyard bullies. This short film is a powerful reminder about staying true to what you love in the face of adversity, and how one boy rose above all the forms of bullying in his life to make a difference for someone else.

Besides the fact that the camera work is beautiful, the little boy in this video is an amazing dancer. I couldn’t believe my eyes at some points! I hope this boy has a long career ahead of him!

Article by Julie Roberts »»»»

Archives: School Bullying

Bullying of staff at islands school probed after letter to council

Bullying Breakdown: Parents should be held accountable

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Freedom of Speech

the-evaluatordownloadFirst of all you obviously have no idea what it’s like to live life looking over your shoulder, to live in fear, to wake up every day not knowing if it will be your last day at work and fear having to go there, you have probably had everything handed to you on a silver platter.

To be verbally, mentally or physically assaulted and abused while at work, at the doctor’s office, at your local grocery store, no matter where you go.

To look at your bank account to see money missing or an anonymous charge of $1,000 charged to your credit card that you didn’t make and have to make that payment because your bank and all complaints are ignored.

To be continually fired and or forced out of your job for no reason at all.

To be afraid to walk to the corner store and have shady characters follow you and threaten you.

tongueTo be totally defamed and Cyber-Bullied on your social media sites, by words that really have no truth and are hearsay.

To basically have all your human rights denied, not really knowing why, but one right I will exercise is my Freedom of Speech and tell my story, even if it don’t want to be heard.

I suffered in silence but I shall no longer, I have lived this way for most of my life but always smiled and said nothing.

Well since I found my faith, I got the courage and strenght to put my foot down and say no more.

imagesIf you feel that you have to go along with them so as not to fall a victim of the same result, than you are no better then they are, so I will say if you redirect the spot light on the criminal or criminal act they seem to dissipate…or crawl back in their hole.

The one main point we fail to realize here is that this country “CANADA”
has legislation (laws) to protect us from this kind of torture, so do legislation bring relief? I think not.

If I shall die this way, I’m going to make sure the world knows my whole story and if my efforts prevents anyone else from experiencing the same faith and life I’ve lived, then I shall die happy and in Peace.

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Evil Landlord #1

new-headerMe in da KitchenFirst I want to apologize, it seems I have missed a whole day, with moderating the sites and the start up of the new affiliate business, it’s been crazy busy getting the pages set up, and it’s not finished yet, and I have fallin behind on my readings, but I will get to them. This post will be yet another addition to “My Story”, I want to take you back to Sept 4, 2009, I was living in Mississauga, Ontario and still working at horror hell “SunGard”. It was sort of their last ditch effort to get rid of me, SunGard that is, any way the story begins with a friend appearing at my door late June of 2009. After a couple of weeks went by I came to find out he was running from the “Law”, to make along story short, he now had to be back in Renfrew Ontario for 5 pm for a meeting with his probation officer, it’s now 12:55 pm, a five hour drive to get him there, knowing it was next impossible to accomplish. So I picked up the phone and placed a call to the officer in question, this gentleman was very upset and yelling on the phone, refusing to give any lead way, saying if he was not on time for his meeting, he would call the police to pick him up and they were going to incarcerate him for one year. After twenty minutes or so, begging and pleading, I managed to convince him to wait as we were leaving immediately. PT CruserWell needless to say while en route I would end up almost losing my vehicle, a new 2008 PT Cruiser only a couple months old to the Ontario Provincial Police due to speeding, she clocked me going 50 kms over the speed limit and in a construction zone no less, current legislation included confiscating the said vehicle and double the normal fine in construction zones for speeding, but for reasons unknown she (the officer) said she would not take my vehicle, and would not double the fine, but I did get a $375 speeding ticket. We arrived in Renfrew one hour late but the guy was in his office waiting, now I had the task of convincing him not to lock a 17 year old boy up for a year with harden criminals, which would do him more harm then good, but he did agree to release him into my custody for 90 days and to return to Mississauga with me, needless to say the boy was as happy as a pig in shit 🙂 I did what I did because I knew him from the day he was born and he has held a special place in my heart and still do, like the son I will never have, even though he is afraid to be seen with me now or to speak to me for that matter. The KitchenThe fact he was going to be living with me for three months, caused issues with my landlord, once he knew I had company living in my unit he wanted more rent. I have been living in this unit for more than 3 years at the time, but to keep the peace I was paying $600 a month, I suggested an increase of $40 a month, he agreed and I assumed that was the end of it, but nooooooooooo I was wrong.One evening I received a call from the landlord regarding a leak under my shower, leaking down to the unit below me, he had to remove my shower to repair it and wanted permission to enter my unit the next day, I granted him the permission, butThe Horror Washroom I would live to regret it though. Arriving home the next day we would find the plumbers in the unit just finishing the shower uninstall, but they had to order a new one, and they would not be able to install it until the next day, leaving us with no running water in the washroom at all, not even for the toilet, I was not impressed but what can you do. I would call him every day for the next four days, inquiring to his intentions for the install of the shower, having to take time off work, 4 days due to no running water, we proceeded back to Renfrew to wait it out. On day four I called one of my brother’s in Brampton and requested he place a call to him for me because he, the landlord had not returned any of my calls or messages. My brother placed a call to him right away but got no answer either but left a message, Me SunGard 2007so on day five I left and headed back to Mississauga, not being able to loose any more time from work, but once I arrived late that night around 11 pm, I was surprised to see the plumbers working so late installing the new shower, it was certainly a relief. It also felt good the next morning, day five to wake up, shower and head to work, but it would be in vain, after 6 1/2 years it would be the day that SunGard would fire me. Now relieved that I no longer had to tolerate the workplace Bullying and Mobbing, but my life was now over, only to get worst. In closing over the last four years I have often wondered why or how I225113_10150978168096890_2016419255_n was still alive, and where my strength was coming from because in late 2010 I spent 8 days in bed, depressed and not able, nor did I have any desire to get out, I just wanted to die, but that’s when by chance I would meet my God sent, the one responsible for where and who I am today….lotsa luv mon ami.
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Massachusetts’ Anti-Bullying Law: It Got Better & Students Get A Say!

pictured: MA Governor Deval Patrick signs improved anti-bullying legislation into law
pictured: MA Governor Deval Patrick signs improved anti-bullying legislation into law

Youth hear over and over again that “it gets better”. And it does. In fact, the Massachusetts Anti-Bullying law got even better last week when it was strengthened in three key ways. This is a great step forward for Massachusetts youth. Under the amended law: School anti-bullying plans must prohibit bullying someone based on certain personal characteristics, including actual or perceived LGBTQ-status, as well as their friends and the children of LGBTQ couples.

Each school’s anti-bullying plan must recognize that certain students are more likely to be targets of bullying or harassment because of personal characteristics. The law specifically identifies sexual orientation and gender identity or expression as characteristics that make someone likely to be bullied. It also protects someone who is perceived to have one of these characteristics as well as someone who associates with someone who is or is perceived to have one of these characteristics.

This “association” language really boosts the protection of the law. It makes sure that someone who hangs out with their LGBTQ friend during school is protected, and it protects children of LGBTQ parents because they “associate with” their parents, too.
Other characteristics identified in the law are: race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, socioeconomic status, homelessness, academic status, physical appearance, pregnant or parenting status, mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability.

  • Schools must report bullying data to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

This new law holds schools accountable by requiring schools to report bullying data to DESE annually.

Data that must be reported includes:

  • the number of reported allegations of bullying or retaliation;
  • the number and nature of incidents where schools found that bullying or retaliation happened;
  • the number of students disciplined for engaging in bullying or retaliation.
  • any other information required by the DESE.

With this data, DESE can compare school districts, examine how often bullying is alleged but not substantiated, and determine the number of students disciplined. By requiring schools to report the nature of the bullying, we’ll get data about bullying and LGBTQ people.

DESE will annually report statewide data that identifies trends and areas for improvement. DESE also is empowered to investigate bullying and, if a covered school is found not to have properly enforced its prevention plan, DESE may enforce the prevention plan or take other appropriate actions.

Students get a say!

DESE will be developing a student survey to gather data on what students think about bullying in their school. Students will be surveyed about school climate and the prevalence, nature and severity of bullying in schools. DESE can compare the student survey results with the school’s reports on bullying. This will be an important reality check for schools and DESE.

The survey will be administered at least once every four years with the first survey to be in the 2016 school year.

Get more information about what you can do about bullying in your school on our youth rights website.

If you need help or more information, contact GLAD Answers at www.GLADAnswers.org

April 30, 2014 By Vickie Henry, Senior Staff Attorney GLAD

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Canada, home to the suicide capital of the world

In Pikangikum, gas sniffing is rampant and young people are taking their own lives at a shocking rate. Martin Patriquin
In Pikangikum, gas sniffing is rampant and young people are taking their own lives at a shocking rate.
Martin Patriquin

Randy Keeper is sick of building coffins. A wiry fellow who looks younger than his 49 years, Keeper is proud of his job as a carpenter and crew leader, saying he’s built 25 houses from scratch over 17 years in Pikangikum, the reserve in northwestern Ontario where he has lived his whole life. But when it comes to the wooden boxes he builds for Pikangikum’s dead, he draws a blank. “I don’t count them,” he says from his daughter’s dining room table. He remembers the last ones, though. They were in December. “I had to make two in one day, one for an elder and one for a younger person.”

The dreams started a couple of weeks after that. In one, he’s lying face up in a freshly dug grave, watching as a coffin is slowly lowered toward him. He doesn’t know if there’s anyone inside, but he recognizes his handiwork: 100 lb. of plywood, treated pine and nails, a simple enough thing that takes him no more than 90 minutes to build. In the dream he’s alive but can’t move as it comes down on his chest, smothering him. Then he wakes up. “The elders told me to stop making them,” he says, “but I have no choice because I work for the band. I get nervous, shaky. Once the dreams happened I’d say yes out of respect for chief and council, but sometimes I don’t show up.”

Keeper is in high demand. Pikangikum, a fly-in reserve located about 300 km northeast of Winnipeg, is a place constantly haunted by the spectre of suicide. Over nearly four decades, the people of Pikangikum have seen dozens upon dozens of their friends and family members take their own lives. Last year, six people from the Ojibwa First Nations community killed themselves in as many weeks. In 2011, the community of roughly 2,400 had a suicide rate equivalent to 250 per 100,000—nearly 20 times that of Canada, and far and away the highest in the world. It has been so for 20 nearly uninterrupted years.

In recent months, the Attawapiskat reserve on James Bay served as a reminder of the deplorable conditions in many of Canada’s native communities. The lack of adequate housing in the frigid temperatures, followed by an acrimonious funding fight with the federal government, has kept the James Bay reserve of 1,800 in the public eye for months—a rare feat when it comes to native issues.

Separated by 500 km of northern Ontario wilderness, Attawapiskat and Pikangikum both suffer from a raft of structural and social problems: lack of housing and running water, addiction and poverty. Yet a glance at the numbers suggests Pikangikum is worse off—much worse. Consider how 80 per cent of its housing doesn’t have sewage pipes or running water; consider how the community of 2,400 had just over 3,600 lockups and nearly 5,000 calls for service to police last year. Consider how only two students graduated from high school last year. Consider how, as recently as 2008, fully 40 per cent of referrals to Tikinagan, northern Ontario’s First Nations childhood protection agency, were from Pikangikum. And consider the suicides, which have taken 96 lives—the vast majority of them young—in 20 years.

Continue reading this article »»»»»»

Article courtesy of Macleans.ca posted March 30, 2012

related

Archives: Suicides
Suicide of Canadian student prompts changes at U.S. school
One year after teen’s death, bullying is on the agenda
The mental health crisis on campus
Halifax vigil remembers Rehtaeh Parsons


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The Freedom Project: Prevention Through Education

Prevention Through Education

The Village Resource Center
The Village Resource Center

Summary
In Thailand, The Freedom Project works with children at risk to prevent human trafficking & child sexual exploitation through education & community development. Through educational scholarships, tutoring, mentors, workshops & additional programs at our community Resource Center, we’re helping more than 130 children reach their potential & become the leaders of tomorrow.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Half of all children in rural northern Thailand are forced by poverty to drop out of school at a young age & very few continue past primary school. The statistics are even worse for girls, who are often obligated to provide income for their families. Many of them, lacking education & resources, end up exploited in Thailand’s sex industry.

How will this project solve this problem?
The SOLD Project developed its holistic “Freedom Project” prevention program and opened its Resource Center to keep children at risk off the path to prostitution & give them hope for a better future. By providing educational scholarships & access to tutoring, mentors, trafficking awareness courses, English lessons & other skills training, SOLD is transforming lives. Drop-out rates have plummeted & for the first time girls in this community are pursuing high school & university degrees.

Potential Long Term Impact
By investing in the education & development of these at-risk children, we not only prevent them from becoming victims of exploitation, but we free them to succeed, rise from poverty, & change the future for their families, their children, & beyond. These children are a new generation with the tools and understanding to become Thailand’s future leaders.

Funding Information
Total Funding Received to Date: $52,797
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $47,202
Total Funding Goal: $99,999

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Resources

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