CHOICE: Promoting School Environments Inclusive of Diversity based on SOGI

CHOICE aims at promoting more inclusive school environments and combating intolerance on the grounds of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and/or sex characteristic.

Grant Agreement Number: 848422

Funded by: REC        Duration: 01/07/2019-30/06/2021   

CHOICE project logo


Challenge

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity is the second most widespread form of discrimination in the EU (at 58% and 56% respectively).  According to an EU LGBT survey conducted by FRA, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania and Romania are among the countries that LGBT people face a less inclusive social environment. Specifically, HT bullying is prevalent to primary and secondary school environment, while quite significant share of members of the educational community reported having heard about negative comments that came from colleagues towards the LGBTQI community.

Innovation

By developing an integrated mechanism for addressing incidents of gender-based violence and discrimination in the school environment, CHOICE aims at promoting a more inclusive school environment and combating intolerance on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. This mechanism includes school diversity policies, capacity building of schools professionals, online reporting system of incidents of violence and/or intolerance and support services to victims and bystanders.

Action

The research work (quantitative/qualitative) assesses what both LGBTQI and cis-straight students and school professionals want and need in order to embrace diversity and support the creation of respectful and safe learning environments. It also identifies ways of effectively integrating diversity as a ‘matter of course’ in educational environment and activities.

The guidelines assist secondary schools in developing and implementing a school policy for the systematic incorporation of diversity, tolerance and respect of difference within the school. It also includes integration practices in relation to school activities where gender is a differentiation criterion, recommendations for updating school documents and general policies to ensure that the rights and needs of students with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions are respected and inform decision-making.

The Capacity Building framework for school professionals (directors/associate directors, teachers, school counsellors/psychologists) will be developed, on implementing diversity policies and promoting an LGBTQI safe and friendly school. The framework will include the capacity building approach, objectives and desired outcomes, content of the capacity building, methods of delivery, curriculum and materials.

Online modules will be hosted in the Hombat platform, including the online modules for the training of school advisors and teachers at primary and secondary levels on how to address the issue of homophobic and transphobic bullying in the school environment.

An online system will be set up, allowing victims, bystanders, parents/carers or other interested parties to anonymously report an incident of violence and/or intolerance on the grounds of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and/or sex characteristics in the school environment. All data will be password protected and stored securely.

Provision of free online support services to victims and bystanders (and possibly perpetrators) of intolerance and/or violence due to gender issues and/or sexual orientation within school premises, through KMOP’s online platform livewithoutbullying.com and mobile app.

Two 14-hour training workshops for 15-20 school professionals will be organized in at least two of the biggest cities in Greece. The workshops can be organized with the cooperation of Teachers Associations/School Counsellors-Advisors/School Psychologists and/or local Schools.

REC
European Commission’s support for the production of this content 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.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
Colour Youth (Greece)
Lithuanian Gay League (Lithuania)
ACCEPT (Romania)
Bilitis Resource Center (Bulgaria)

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