• Internal Code :
  • Subject Code : PSY30014
  • University : Swinburne University of Technology
  • Subject Name : social psychology

Safe Schools Program 

LGBTI- gender discrimination

In 2010, Safe Schools were founded by the Victorian government to make sure that schools are safe areas for all students, particularly lesbian , gay , bisexual, transgender and intersex ( LGBTI) children, and protected from discrimination (Smith et al., 2017). This was created from the desire for greater safety for LGBTI students, who are at heightened threat of bullying and isolation, from school communities, parents and staff, and for ensuring schools develop safe and supportive workplaces. A main aspect of the initiative is to provide the high school teachers with career growth and preparation so that they are prepared to serve LGBTI students (Sugarman et al., 2018). The Safe Schools program is introduced and supported mainly by the Department of Education and Training. The safe Schools system helps students cultivate a positive climate that embraces LGBTI students and is welcoming. It acknowledges that building a healthy and welcoming atmosphere is essential to combating abuse and bullying, and avoiding depression and self-harm. All school students must be free from abuse, and should feel included. Safe Schools is simply not a subject in the classroom, and is not part of the curriculum. It is a curriculum for families with educators, instructors and students (Smith et al., 2017). Schools have the ability to utilize as many or as little of the tools, educational materials and other assistance provided by the system to help them execute on their promise. Non-government schools and primary schools will also receive Healthy Schools funding.

Safe and equitable classrooms support all pupils, and are crucial to realizing the maximum ability of children. Global and foreign work indicates that supportive school conditions contribute to higher student achievement, greater morale and enhanced school attendance. Work also reveals that, right now, multiple LGBTI students in Australian schools face adverse encounters. The latest longitudinal survey on LGBTI community wellbeing and well-being showed that 61% of LGBTI youth experience homophobic verbal harassment, 18% recorded homophobic physical violence, 69 percent of respondents reported other types of discrimination, including exclusion and rumors, and 80 percent reported abuse at school (Langlois et al., 2017). LGBTI individuals have the highest suicide rates and attempted suicide of the Australian group. Suicide attempt rates are six times higher among same-sex linked teens than their heterosexual equivalents. The average age of an initial suicide attempt is 16 years-sometimes they come out of their own because they didn't alert someone else.

The policy wants schools across Victoria to guarantee that students' safety and inclusion into their care , particularly LGBTI children, and offers funding through the Department of Education and Training to encourage them to do so, including through the continuing implementation of the Secure Schools system (Langlois et al., 2017). School workers will receive resources and guidance from Safe Schools on topics such as how to follow the Department's sexual and gender identity policy and the Victorian and Australian anti-discrimination laws, how to avoid and respond to LGBTI pupil bullying incidents, implement a community-wide strategy to combat bigotry, abuse and violence, implement supportive and equitable education policy, prepare staff to build safe spaces for LGBTI students, establish student-led events to bring about meaningful, sustainable progress, and provide all staff with resources and ideas to build welcoming workplaces (Jones, 2020). Schools decide what their needs are, what services they can use and how best to serve their society as part of their attempts to create a secure and welcoming atmosphere.

Schools select from a variety of evidence-based and age-appropriate knowledge , tools and professional learning to support them avoid and react to sexual preference, gender identity or intersex bullying and discrimination (Jones, 2019). This could involve updating school policy and procedures, career development for school employees, or setting up a student lead committee to help build a more welcoming environment. When deciding the right path to executing their dedication to being a healthy school, school administrators take into consideration the opinions of their school population, including their parents and diverse classes of students. The Safe Schools Unit can work together with your school to build safer and more inclusive environments for your whole school community (Jones, 2019). LGBTI young people are more inclined to feel secure in schools where security measures are in effect relative to schools lacking such measures (75 percent opposed to 45 per cent). At school, they are almost 50 per cent less likely to be sexually attacked, less likely to witness other forms of sexual harassment, less likely to harm themselves and less likely to attempt suicide. The Department of Education and Training has developed the following resource to educate students about the Safe Schools program and guide their actions to promote the inclusion of LGBTI into their community (Jones & Lasser 2017).

To insure that the system aims to serve the demands of students and local families, the Department periodically consults with students and main stakeholders. This involves evaluating potential external tools and services that could be needed.

The healthy schools proposed that by implementing a school-wide approach to bullying behavior, staff, parents and colleagues will be able to measure students' mental and social well-being and recognise environments of schools needing improvement to minimize bullying behaviour. (JONES & HILLIER, 2017). Through performing analysis across seven longitudinal trials across nine years, safe schools researchers examined how problems such as lack of knowledge or perception of bullying and lack of parental disincentive to bullying incidents were both causes and influences that prolonged the behaviour.

Strengths include the execution of classroom-based active learning which foster self-management, self consciousness and decision-making skills (Fulcher, 2017). Comparably, leading up study has emphasized a strong correlation among changes in self-reported quality of life-being in an educational setting including the use of classroom-based active learning, and consequently illustrated why a curriculum-based learning approach is an important reason for high social and emotional well-being within a school context. The downside is that the Alliance for Safe Schools is for promoting social identity and racial acceptance, not preventing bullying. Therefore, if 'inclusion' is conceptualized simply as preventing bullying, it falls well short of the profound societal change suggested by Safe School to help LGBTI students as necessary (Elphick, 2017). The derailing of gender identity disorder as 'gender equality' has profound consequences for the school community and the environment, that would accept a divisive awareness of gender anxiety and depression and make significant changes to be inclusionary. Safe Schools advises that, in addition to combating overt bigotry in the context of homophobic words, including as name-calling or bullying.

This study outlines the status of homosexual, lesbian , bisexual , transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) students globally inside Australian school policy papers, concentrating on Australia's three main states and education sectors. Survey results was used to comment on the educational perceptions of over 3000 GLBTIQ Australian adolescents aged 14–21 (Cumming et al., 2018). The International Scientific Guidance on Sexuality Education ( UNESCO 2009) offers an institutional structure for recognizing the dynamics of sexuality education in classrooms. This urges countries to provide inclusive information on sexuality and advocates an anti-discriminatory attitude to the differences of sex and gender. But pupils who are homosexual, lesbian , bisexual , transgender, intersex and queer (GLBTIQ) are ignored in sexuality education worldwide.

References 

Cumming-Potvin, W. M., & Martino, W. (2018). Countering heteronormativity and cisnormativity in Australian schools: Examining English teachers' reflections on gender and sexual diversity in the classroom. Teaching and Teacher Education, 74, 35-48.

Elphick, L. (2017). Sexual Orientation and Gay Wedding Cake Cases under Australian Anti-Discrimination Legislation: A Fuller Approach to Religious Exemptions. Adel. L. Rev., 38, 149.

Fulcher, K. (2017). That’s so homophobic? Australian young people’s perspectives on homophobic language use in secondary schools. Sex Education, 17(3), 290-301.

JONES, T., & HILLIER, L. (2017). The Australian Context. Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Schooling: The Nexus of Research, Practice, and Policy, 289.

Jones, T., & Lasser, J. (2017). School psychological practice with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (GLBTIQ) students. In Handbook of Australian School Psychology (pp. 595-611). Springer, Cham.

Jones, T. (2019). Conceptualisation Landscapes: Overview of Global Gender and Sexuality Constructions. In Uplifting gender and sexuality education research (pp. 3-13). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Jones, T. (2019). A global human rights approach to pre-service teacher education on LGBTIs. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 47(3), 286-308.

Jones, T. (2020). Sex and Gender: Australian Schools Shout Sex and Whisper Gender. In A Student-centred Sociology of Australian Education (pp. 95-127). Springer, Cham.

Langlois, A. J., Wilkinson, C., Gerber, P., & Offord, B. (2017). Community, identity, orientation: sexuality, gender and rights in ASEAN. The Pacific Review, 30(5), 710-728.

Sugarman, D. B., Nation, M., Yuan, N. P., Kuperminc, G. P., Hassoun Ayoub, L., & Hamby, S. (2018). Hate and violence: Addressing discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Psychology of violence, 8(6), 649.

Smith, I. P., & McCarthy, G. (2017). The Australian corporate closet: Why it's still so full!. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health, 21(4), 327-351.

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