In a historical moment which will impact the way the new generation perceives diversity, Scottish schools will now add LGBT+ lessons to their curriculum with the aim of addressing anti-LGBT+ bullying and creating a more LGBT+ friendly educational and social environment.
The themes taught during these school lessons will include LGBT+ terminology and identities, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and prejudice in relation to the LGBT+ community as well as promoting awareness of the history of LGBT+ movements.
A recent study by TIE (Time for Inclusive Education) found that nine in ten LGBT+ Scots experience homophobia at school, and 27% reported they had attempted suicide after being bullied. The investigation also found there was little understanding in schools about prejudice against people with variations of sex characteristics.
John Swinney, the deputy first minister, said: “Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBT+ equality. I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.”
Swinney added: “Our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential. That is why it is vital the curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools.
“The recommendations I have accepted will not only improve the learning experience of our LGBTI young people, but they will also support all learners to celebrate their differences, promote understanding and encourage inclusion.”
LGBT+ education activists have welcomed the Scottish government’s decision. “The implementation of LGBTI inclusive education across all state schools is a world first, and in a time of global uncertainty, this sends a strong and clear message to LGBTI young people that they are valued here in Scotland,” Jordan Daly, TIE campaign co-founder, said in a statement.
“Education is one of the most vital tools we have to tackle bullying, prejudice and discrimination and it shapes the fabric of our society. We now look forward to continuing our work with the Scottish Government as we progress towards full implementation,” Daly added.
Stonewall Scotland director Colin Macfarlane said: ‘’Today’s announcement is a testament to the hard work of young people, teachers, parents and campaigners from across Scotland’s LGBT organisations who have been calling for these much-needed proposals for years. These proposals will change lives for the better.’’
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