Teachers accused of discriminating against gay students

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There has been a considerable number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students who drop out of the education system due to discrimination, sometimes coming from even teachers.

This is according to Joel Simpson, representative of the Guyana Equality Forum. At a recent forum on education sector reform, he pointed to the lack of policies to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

“Currently, there are no laws, policies or mechanisms in Guyana, that protect or offer redress to youth who suffer stigma and discrimination in the education system. Many gays, lesbians and transgender students have reverted to dropping out of school due to continued discrimination that they face on a daily basis from both staff and students alike,” he noted.

Speaking at the event where several education officials were present, Simpson, who is also theManaging Director of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), noted that the organization has received multiple reports of teachers partaking in discrimination.

He related that “some of these acts reported to SASOD and GTU (Guyana Trans United), have been said to occur within the clear view of teachers who often times do very little to curtail these behaviours.”

“In some instances, the discrimination against LGBT students are from teachers themselves and in clean and open view for others to witness,” Simpson declared.

He alluded to the code of conduct for teachers, which is on the Ministry of Education’s, website which states that teachers cannot discriminate based on race, colour or creed. However, he said the code of conduct does not include any protection for LGBT students.

Simpson said this practically prevents those students from realising their right to education.

He also called for a programme to be implemented in schools which would encourage more teenage mothers to continue their education.

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