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LGBTQ Youth in Schools

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No one should be afraid to be gay or a LGBTQ individual at schools.

Just recently, another bullying effect was captured by the media in the UK. In the suburbs of York, in one of the public schools of the area, an 11 year old boy was bullied because of his intentions not to hide who he is.

Over a short discussion with his parents, the boy has been terrified by his peers and threatened to be beaten and someday even dead, because of his unwillingness to change who he is. He does not wish to return to his school life currently as he is emotionally and psychosocial terrified of the people surrounding him. I know the picture on the right is intimidating, but that is how reality is for all the children that are bullied in schools because of their sexual orientation.

The boy suffered emotional, psychological, and physical abuse. he was called several names, including a disgrace for his parents. He was kicked to the ground and a chair was broken on his back. His backpack was thrown in the fields while some of his peers tried to humiliate him by stealing his clothes.

What I want of this post, is to raise your thoughts around the issue. If we all try to think what consequences such an event will have to the boy’s life in the future, while growing up.

No one should ever be afraid to be him or herself in the school environment. There are many different issues arising from this instance. Bullying has expanded drastically due to unintended rage of the youth, which may be based to social reasoning.

How could anyone “blame” the peers for such a behavior? A behaviour that has been copied from the social world kids know of. 11 year old children, almost teenagers, have been through socialization that promotes and enhances such behaviors, as opposed to “shut them down”.

Then again, what about social policies, programs, and services that the schools have to offer? What about the teachers and the staff who are there on a daily basis and experience the institutional culture of the school? What about the parents who receive messages from their children that something is wrong, or that they cause wrong ((in the case of a bully)? What about the decision makers, especially in the UK at this time, when the strands of Equality and Diversity have been revised and enhanced the more?

Creating hate for who we are is not accepted by a certain number of people or populations or cultures, should be unacceptable in the contemporary world where development and evolution take place. The science of social work should see through these occasions and grasp the challenges that arise, take a step forward, and create policies, raise awareness, and network and/or link people and organizations. It is crucial for social workers to understand to distinguish what the professional values are and promote those to the systems that request for assistance.

Dr. Panagiotis Pentaris is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Integrated Care. He is a Social Worker with particular specialty in Thanatology. LGBTQ issues, due to his personal sexual orientation as well, have become a critical focus for him since more than seven years ago. Follow: http://gold.academia.edu/PanagiotisPentaris

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