In Advice To Teachers, Church of England Targets Anti-LGBT Bullying : The Two-Way : NPR

In Instruction To Teachers, Church of England Targets Anti-LGBT Bullying

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The Church of England is advising teachers to permit and inspire children to explore their gender identity.

In guidance issued Sunday the Church’s education office told its almost 5,000 schools to permit students “to be able to play with the many cloaks of identity.”

“All of us is loved unconditionally by God. We should avoid no matter what, diminishing the dignity of any individual to a stereotype or a problem,” explained Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in a ahead to the guidance.

The 52-page record Valuing All God’s Kids outlines 10 recommendations for schools such as for example training for faculty and staff so they are ready to offer pastoral support for students who experience homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying and writing curricula that “offer opportunities for pupils to learn to value themselves and their bodies.”

Teachers are also advised to figure out how to properly identify and record bullying behavior.

As well as the concrete guidance, the document is out of its way to highlight “key and secondary colleges as places where college students can explore their identity in virtually any form it takes.”

“Children ought to be at liberty to explore the options of who they may be without judgement or perhaps derision. For instance, a child may pick the tutu, princess’s tiara and heels and/or the firefighter’s helmet, device belt and superhero cloak without expectation or comment. Childhood includes a sacred space for innovative self-imagining,” one passage reads.

LGBT leaders applauded your choice. The Guardian reports:

“The guidance met with outrage in some quarters, drawing [skeptical] newspaper headlines and furious commentary from lots of conservatives. But the human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell explained the guidance was ‘big improvement for a church that traditionally and historically has been hostile to LGBT rights.’ ” ‘The new guidance is confident,’ Tatchell explained. ‘It affirms varied sexual orientations and gender identities, helping pupils who are different. It acknowledges their right to explore, experiment and express without denigration.’ ”

The newspaper does go on to report that detractors include conservative Christian groups and tv set personality and journalist Piers Morgan.

“I’ve got a good six-year-old gal, she doesn’t know what gender identity is, however teachers are now asking a five-year-old kid: ‘How are you sense today? Do you feel female or male?'” Morgan said, in line with the Guardian.

The guidance references findings from an LGBT legal rights group Stonewall and its School Report which surveyed more than 3,700 LGBT students across Britain about their interactions at school with peers and teachers.

The report found that while reports of overall bullying against LGBT students have been down since 2007, it had been still present in the experience of some students. Seven in 10 surveyed college students reported that their colleges have openly mentioned the homophobic and biphobic bullying is wrong. Four in 10 explained their schools come out against transphobic behavior.

“All bullying includes a profoundly negative impact on children, and it is never acceptable,” a good Stonewall spokesperson told The Guardian.

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