TOPPS leads Seminar-Workshop on LGBTQ+ rights,

Anti-Bullying Issues Cum Gender Analysis

The Teachers Organization of the Philippine-Public Sector (TOPPS) conducted Seminar-Workshops on LGBTQ+ Rights and Anti-Bullying cum Gender Analysis for Education International Affiliates in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao regions during the second, third and 4th quarters of 2019.

In the seminar-workshop conducted, the meaning and concept of LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and other diverse SOGIE (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression), discrimination and rights issues, Education International (EI) Policy and Resolution on LGBTQ+ rights and the roles of education unions in promoting the said rights were discussed.

The effects of stigma to their group were also identified through group dynamics and they emphasized that until present time they experience discrimination in different forms, some of them face intolerance and treated as different but others disclosed that they are well supported by their families and friends. To cope with discrimination, they are striving hard to prove something, to be a better person and to have a decent profession.

Based on the evaluation from the workshops, their gender issues and concerns were identified such as: 1) hiring and retention of the members of the LGBTQ+ in Catholic schools; 2) how to assert and protect their rights; 3) decorum on school uniform and cross dressing, haircut and wearing of make-ups; 4) labelling; 5) over assertion of their rights; and 6) attitude and behavioral problems. Whereas, information campaign, advocacy program and counseling were the proposed interventions by the participants.

The participants were also enlightened on Bullying in School and the Workplace including Anti-Bullying Act of 2013 (RA 10627). It was found out in the workshop that bullying is a perennial issue and concern in school in all levels, different forms of bullying persist in the public and private schools, and there were instances that teachers experienced cyber bullying from the parents and from students.

Some of the proposed interventions were: (1) Conduct of parenting seminar and information campaign on anti-bullying, (2) Revisit school rules and policies, and (3) Conduct advocacy programs to promote safe, friendly and gender-responsive school environment.

The seminar-workshops conducted on LGBTQI+ Rights and Anti-Bullying cum Gender Analysis were as follows: Visayas held at Madison Hotel PHL, Delgado St., Iloilo City last June 23-24, 2019; Mindanao held at Las Casitas Hotel, Matina Davao City on September 21-22, 2019; and the Luzon at Tarlac State University Hotel on October 05-06, 2019.