Wide research that was conducted as part of the European project “CHOICE: Promoting School Environments Inclusive of Diversity based on SOGI” indicates that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying remains a widespread problem in schools across Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania.
By developing an integrated mechanism for addressing incidents of gender-based violence and discrimination in the school environment, CHOICE aims to contribute to the promotion of inclusive schools and the prevention and combating of intolerance on the grounds of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and/or sex characteristics.
Research was conducted by the consortium partner organizations including desk research, an online survey and three focus groups with educational professionals as well as students and parents in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania. Findings show that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools remains a prevalent issue and that the school environment is still not welcoming, safe and friendly towards LGBTI students.
CHOICE partners are currently working on modules with activities that will enhance the capacities of secondary school professionals to support diversity and the creation of inclusive school environments; facilitate the reporting of incidents of violence and intolerance on the grounds of SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity); enable victims and bystanders (and possibly perpetrators) to access support services; and raise awareness of school community and wider public about SOGI related discrimination/bullying/violence in the school environment.
These activities include the development of a Capacity Building Programme for school professionals on how to implement diversity policies in schools, an online system for the reporting of incidents of violence and/or intolerance on the grounds of SOGI in the school environment, as well as free online support services to victims and bystanders of violence and intolerance in school, based on KMOP’s online platform livewithoutbullying.com.
Stay tuned for our next steps!
For more information, you can visit the project’s website: https://www.itsyourchoice.eu/
The European Commission’s support for the production of this press release does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.