Ministry of Education: NZ Schools Need to Understand Gender Identity and Combat Homophobia

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The Ministry of Education is urging New Zealand schools to better understand gender identity and be vigilant for homophobia.

A range of measures have recommended in a new guide released yesterday to create safer spaces for GLBT students in New Zealand schools.

Among the measures, the report says that schools should reconsider their toilet facilities to ensure pupils of all gender identities had safe spaces, saying “toilets can be unsafe environments for students who do not conform to gender norms”.

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Same-sex partners should be allowed to attend invite-type events such as school balls and sports coaches needed to understand gender identity and be vigilant for homophobia and other signs of discrimination.

The Ministry of Education has also advised schools to offer gender neutral uniforms as a way to better accommodate sexual diversity amongst New Zealand students.

The overall aim of the guide is to support school boards, principals, and teachers to deliver effective, quality sexuality education programmes and, through them, to support the positive and holistic development and health of all students in New Zealand primary, intermediate, and secondary schools.

The guide in full can be read here.

Article | Levi Joule.

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