Minister van Engelshoven presents COCs standard for LGBTI-friendly schools
9 October 2020 -
In the context of Coming Out Day, Minister Van Engelshoven (OCW) will present the GSA Education Standard for LGBTI-friendly schools with a video message on Friday 9 October. Schools can use this to test whether they are working properly on LGBTI acceptance. The standard focuses on the assessment of students and was developed by the COC together with LGBTI students.
More and better attention for LGBTI acceptance at school is important, because LGBTI students are bullied up to four times more often than average. "Gay" is the most commonly used swear word at school and suicide rates are up to five times higher among LGBTI youth.
How does it work?
The Education Standard consists of a checklist. For example, schools must offer LGBTI pupils support and devote attention to sexual and gender diversity in v
arious subjects over several years. The aim is for a non-negotiable standard to apply at school, whereby everyone is accepted, regardless of sexual orientation,
gender identity or gender characteristics.
The judgment of the Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is central to the approach. GSAs are student clubs that are committed to LGBTI acceptance in 80 percent of secondary schools. On the basis of the checklist, the GSA checks how the school scores and works with teachers to see how things can be improved.
The score of schools is visible on the website of the Education Standard. Schools that, according to GSA students, score sufficiently, will receive a sticker in April that shows that they are committed to LGBTI acceptance that year. The website offers teachers, pupils and parents numerous options to improve attention for LGBTI acceptance at school.
Support from Minister Van Engelshoven
Minister van Engelshoven applauds the GSA Education Standard: “I warmly call on schools to get started with the GSA Education Standard. The standard offers many
tools to improve the situation at school. The great thing is that the focus is on what students themselves find important. "
The Hofstad Lyceum in The Hague, a school that has been committed to an LGBTI-friendly climate for years, is one of the schools that is working on the Education Standard. Director Josefien Hal also applauds the approach: “We too can learn from the standard. We are happy to talk to GSA students to see how we can make our school even nicer and safer for all students ”.
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