Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan has launched the first guide for primary teachers on homophobic and transphobic bullying. The guide, Respect: Creating a Welcoming and Positive School Climate to Prevent Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying in Primary School was developed by GLEN, the INTO and the INTO LGBT Group.
Minister O’Sullivan said, “Every primary school classroom has children from a diverse range of backgrounds and family types. Every child needs to feel that they belong and that they are welcomed, respected and valued.
“The Respect resource will support the whole primary school community in creating an inclusive and positive school climate, so that all children can flourish to the best of their abilities.”
Sandra Irwin-Gowran, firector of education policy at GLEN, said,”Bullying is an issue for many children in our schools and for some this can take the form of homophobic or transphobic bullying. Encouraging respectful relationships across the school community is key to preventing bullying, particularly identity-based bullying. This guide is the first to support primary teachers in including homophobic and transphobic bullying in their bullying prevention work.”
General secretary of the INTO, Sheila Nunan commented, “Primary school teachers play a central role in creating a classroom and school environment where all children are safe,
affirmed and respected. They also play a central role in tackling and preventing bullying. The Respect resource being launched today will be a support for teachers in addressing LGBT issues as they arise and in preventing homophobic and transphobic bullying in their classrooms and schools”.
Cecelia Gavigan of the INTO LGBT Teachers’ Group said up to now many teachers were unsure of how they could appropriately and sensitively deal with homophobic and transphobic bullying and inclusion.
“Primary school teachers really welcome this resource; now they have clear, innovative and practical resources to support them in implementing the department’s anti-bullying procedures and ensuring that all the children in their classroom are respected and valued,”she said.