Irish public school published the nation’s first guide to sexual equality yesterday. The guide, entitled Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Students in Post-Primary Schools – Guidance for Principals and School Leaders, instructs principals and faculty on how to better support and improve the experience of LGBT students.
The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) had a central role in compiling the guide, in concert with Ireland’s Department of Education. According to Sandra Gowran, GLEN’s Director of Education Policy, the guide is necessary to stop bullying in schools and eliminate the negative experiences of many LGB students that result in poor self-esteem and low performance.
However, the guide will end up serving a much larger purpose than preventing the negative experience of LGB students. The guide is designed to assist in the development of classroom awareness programs and encourage school-wide acceptance of such behaviors. Ms. Gowran said GLEN hoped the guide would assist principals and faculty in implementing measures for the positive visibility of LGB students.
As the publisher of the guide, Sean Haughey, so aptly pointed out, schools are an important forum for delivering societal values. This sex equality guide will now dictate for Irish schools what those values relating to homosexual behavior will be.