Opinion : Stand up week is discriminatory, bullying affects everyone regardless of sexual orientation
In the UK the figure there was just 1.5 percent according to the National Statistics Office .
I asked the working group to put a specific focus on homophobic bullying.
In line with the commitment in the Programme for Government I asked the working group to put a specific focus on homophobic bullying
- Ruairi Quinn
Belong to Youth Services is an lgbt youth organisation , a listed member of coalition to repeal the 8th which was an irish lobby group calling for abortion on demand , and a member of ILGA-Europe - the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association , a Brussels based lobby group funded by George Soros (open society initiative for europe) and the EU Commission .
Its members on the working group were Michael Barron and Carol Anne O'Brien
G.L.E.N ltd (Gay & Lesbian Equality Network)
Its members on the working group were Brian sheehan , general secretary of the social democrats and co chair of ILGA-Europe along with Sandra Irwin Gowran .
Cyber bulling which is a big issue nowadays only had 1 representative.
In January 2013 , the study completed its work and the Action Plan on Bullying was published .
1) Teaching the new SPHE resource 'Growing Up LGBT' ( a Belong and GLEN publication )
In September 2013 , the recommendations within the Action Plan on Bullying were incorporated into the Government's Anti Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary schools .
Anti Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools
programmes focused on developing pupils awareness of bulling should deal explicitly with and in particular homophobic and transphobic bullying .
For example , the inclusion of LGBT posters on notice boards , discussions with parents about specific statements of welcome and respect for LGBT members of the school ,
* teaching the SPHE resource growing up LGBT and participating in LGBT awareness events .
- Policy 6.5.4
to make your school a welcoming and safe place for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender students. Stand Up Awareness Week tackles homophobic and transphobic bullying by encouraging friendship between LGBT young people and other young people
-Carol-Anne O'Brien , Director at Belong
Below : In Donegal , Stand Up Week for first year students in Moville Community College .
Youth Centres are also encouraged to participate in Stand Up .
In 2016 , Belong Ltd Announced a new programme for our Primary School Children .
The Programme is called 'All Together Now' and is funded by the Department of Education and Skills.
According to their Brochure the purpose of the Primary School programme is :
To explore the Equality Act and the Gender Recognition Act and identify what constitutes discrimination/harassment and how individuals can counter these.
children can be updated on the recent passing of the Gender Recognition Act (2015) which recognises the right of transgender people to be legally recognised as their preferred gender
Extracts from the course are shown below:
Extracts from All Together Now Programme in Primary Schools
Activity 4 Rainbows :
The teacher displays and introduces the symbol of the rainbow. Its significance is explained to the pupils in terms of the range of colours (diversity) that together form a beautiful phenomenon in the sky on a rainy day. Other places where rainbow symbols are seen arealso explored. Its significance for the LGBT community is discussed. The pupils are shown some pictures of people wearing/using the symbol who are not LGBT – but who are LGBT allies. The concept of an ally can be explored. The IWB could be used to display some of these images to the children.
Discussion : Scenario 10
"Lily has an older sister Michaela whom she’s very fond of. Michaela has recently told the family that she really feels like a boy inside, and has felt like that for some time. She has asked that everyone would now start calling her Michael and use “he” in discussion about her rather than “she”.
Lesson 3: The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams
The Boy in the Dress by David Williams may be used to generate further discussion withthe pupils. The teacher may choose to do a whole class reading of this novel...
Dennis is twelve years old. He lives with his Dad and older brother John who is fourteen. Their Mam left home a couple of years. At this stage of the story Dad has just found a Vogue magazine belonging to Dennis . “What the hell is this?” said Dad. Dennis wondered why Dad was asking, if he already knew what it was, but he kept that thought to himself. “It’s Vogue magazine, Dad.”………. “I can see it’s Vogue. What I want to know is why a son of mine wants to look at a fashion magazine?” “I’m sorry. It’s just not right. A boy at your age reading Vogue magazine." ... is his dad right discuss , what should dennis do , what should you do
children could be updated on the recent passing of the Gender Recognition Act (2015) which recognises the right of transgender people to be legally recognised as their preferred gender
Feedback from Teachers
'The children enjoyed the excerpt from The Boy in the Dress and it led to a great discussion around children and their toys e.g. why can’t boys play with Barbies? Why are kitchens and dolls in the girl section of toy catalogues? - 6th Class teacher '
'The children loved the novel extract. They suggested that the problem actually lay with the father, not the child, and to me this was evidence that the programme was a success - 6th Class teacher'
In 2014 , Belong to Youth Services Ltd received the following Grants to finance their 'Stand Up' programme in schools .
Catherine Zappone , Minister for children has recently announced an additional source of funding for these organisations
Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice of religion are, subject to public order and morality, guaranteed to any citizen.
-Article 44.2.1 of our Constitution
In December 2015 , Michael Barron , realising the only barrier to him reaching every school in Ireland was indeed religion and religious run schools , founded a new business called - Equate Ireland , Equality in Education .
We want to see changes to school admissions policies, curriculum, patronage and the management of our schools
- Michael Barron , CEO Equate ( founder of Belong and Stand up week)
Following an investigation by the Standards in Public Office Commission into funding at the organisation , it closed its doors In May 2018 .
In Conclusion , Bullying is no doubt an horrific torment for many pupils , wether it is homophobic or any other type of bullying it is never ever acceptable .
However , To try to solve the problem by starting off on the basis that one form of bullying (homophobic) is more prevalent to other types when the statistics and research do not support that claim , is not going to solve any problems for our young people .
The Fact that our Government is spending so much money on these campaigns while in the process discriminating against people who dont identify as gay really shows that this is not about bullying at all but its about something much different.
It would appear that the idea of equality has now gone on to the next phase i.e "Everyone is Equal but some people are more equal than others"
The Book - Animal Farm by George Orwell , immediately springs to mind .
The Animals publish their 7 commandments - Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend. No animal shall wear clothes. No animal shall sleep in a bed. No animal shall drink alcohol. No animal shall kill any other animal . The Most important Commandment is 'all animals are equal' .
As time passes , the animals notice that the Pigs have started to take over and are walking upright on two legs , wearing clothes , drinking alcohol and sleeping in beds.
The commandments have also now changed to "all animals are equal but some are more equal than others" and "Four legs good, two legs better!"