Scotland is set to become the first country in the world to include the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) rights in its school curricula.
Ministers embraced all the 33 recommendations put forward by a working group led by the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign, meaning primary and secondary state schools will now be required to teach pupils about the history of LGBTI movements.
A study carried out for TEI in 2016 found the rate of attempted suicide among LGBTI people in Scotland stood at 27 percent. Nine in 10 LGBTI Scots had admitted experiencing homophobia, transphobia or biphobia at school. Being bullied was a key factor in prompting some to attempt suicide.
“Scotland is already considered one of the most progressive countries in Europe for LGBTI equality,” deputy first minister John Swinney was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“I am delighted to announce we will be the first country in the world to have LGBTI-inclusive education embedded within the curriculum.
“Our education system must support everyone to reach their full potential. That is why it is vital the curriculum is as diverse as the young people who learn in our schools.”
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon took to Twitter to congratulate campaigners.
The report also found 95 percent of LGBTI people believe their experiences at school have had or will have a long-lasting negative effect on them, while 87 percent of teachers surveyed reported hearing homophobic, biphobic or transphobic language at school
Based on the findings of the research, schools will also place bigger emphasis on preventing and battling homophobia and transphobia, as well as on exploring LGBTI identity.
Scotland only decriminalized homosexuality in 1980, but it has often been considered at the forefront of legal protection for LGBTI people. In 2001, the country become the first member of the United Kingdom to repeal the so-called Section 28, which had been introduced in 1988 and banned local authorities in the U.K. from “promoting” homosexuality.
Campaigners hailed the latest step as a historic moment for the protection of LGBTI rights in Scotland.
“This is a monumental victory for our campaign, and a historic moment for our country,” Jordan Daly, the co-founder of TIE said.
“The implementation of LGBTI inclusive education across all state schools is a world first. In a time of global uncertainty, this sends a strong and clear message to LGBTI young people that they are valued here in Scotland.
“Eighteen years from the repeal of Section 28, we can finally put its destructive legacy to bed.”
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