Homophobic bullying in Lithuanian schools

Almost a quarter of school bullying in Lithuania is homophobic

May 10, 2015 – The Lithuanian LGBT organization LGL has released a research on homophobic bullying in Lithuanian schools, which shows that almost a quarter of teachers (23.3%) said that verbal bullying is based on presumed or actual sexual orientation.

 

Key results

Some key findings include:

  • Only 10% of teachers said that non-heterosexual students are studying in their school.
  • One-third of teachers admit that they lack knowledge and experience in dealing with the issue of homophobic bullying in schools.
  • 79% of the students who responded to the survey faced bullying based on their sexual orientation in school.

To summarize, it can be said that the majority of teachers do not recognize the problem of homophobic bullying in schools.

Teachers are blind to challenges

Teachers seems to be quite unaware of homophobic bullying and homophobic language. The majority said that they very rarely notice homophobic bullying or are not aware of such incidents at their school. This is in contradiction with heir statement that 23% of bullying is related to sexual orientation. It is alarming fact that almost half of surveyed teachers felt that there is no need to deal with homophobic bullying because there is no such problem at their schools.
Slightly less than one-fifth of teachers support the disclosure of sexual orientation at their school. More than half of teachers believe that school is not the place to talk about one’s (homo)sexual orientation. Such an approach does not allow students to feel safe enough to be themselves at school.

== Censorship law aggravates problems ==
Almost one-fifth of the teachers beliefs the issue of homophobic bullying is complicated by the political situation regarding LGBT people in Lithuania. The Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effect of Public Information was adopted in 2010. This law forbids any positive information about LGBT people in the public sphere. Meanwhile, stereotypes and hostile attitudes are not forbidden and are freely disseminated in the media.

Recommendations

LGL makes several recommendations:

  • Raise teachers’ awareness of the fact that there are LGBT young people and students in their schools and that they face bullying and harassment
  • Educate teachers on how to provide support to these young people
  • Incorporate homophobic bullying into the general anti-bullying program
  • Ensure that sexual education is taught in school
  • Create support and informational systems for students

Source: ILGA Europe

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