ETUCE welcomes the recent publication of the European Fundamental Rights Agency “Professionally Speaking: Challenges to achieving equality for LGBT people”. The report underlines the role of LGBTI public officials and the importance of the protection of their fundamental rights. Key references are highlighted for LGBTI teachers and other education personnel:

  • Teachers and other education personnel need further and appropriate training about the fundamental rights of LGBT students both in initial teacher training and in continuous professional teacher training;
  • Strengthening capacity and awareness of teachers and other education professionals in managing diversity and tackling bullying/violence is vital;
  • Teachers and school leaders (interviewed) noted the importance of EU anti-discrimination legislation and legal provisions tackling hate-speech, as well as cooperation with LGBT NGOs and the personal commitment of education professionals, as key to protecting and promoting effectively the fundamental rights of LGBT persons in educational settings.

As regards the European Commission’s actions (DG JUSTICE) to advance LGBTI Equality to be implemented during the period 2016-2019; ETUCE notes that the full legal protection against discrimination in education not only concerns students and pupils, but also teachers at all levels of education.

ETUCE welcomes the above FRA recommendations, in particular, with the view to creating safe, secure and inclusive learning environments for all LGBT people. ETUCE notes that education trade unions should be consulted for these kind of reports as they address important issues for teachers and other education personnel, though. Education authorities should consider to adopt specific anti-bullying policies and take the necessary measures to ensure that information on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression is provided and respected, as stated in the ETUCE joint statement against homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools and in the workplace.