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Lesbianism, a concern for educators

Published:Wednesday | May 25, 2011 | 12:00 AM
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Molloy young
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Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter

THERE IS a growing challenge of lesbianism in the education system, educators have confirmed.

The Gleaner understands that the issue is on the increase in some institutions, especially all-girls.

President of the Jamaica Association of Guidance Counsellors in Education (JAGE), Dr Grace Kelly, said the matter is significant and calls for attention.

"There is a challenge in the schools and the guidance association is aware of it," she said.

"What we continue to do is to provide counselling and support for these children, and to ensure that we provide them access to proper information, and through the guidance and counselling sessions, the students are given an opportunity to understand and appreciate their sexuality," Dr Kelly added.

She noted that while it has not reached the stage where any matter had to be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, she was aware that cases have been referred to other persons in the education setting because of the nature.

no supporting data

The JAGE boss, however, said she was unable to say if this is widespread in the schools, as she had no data on the issue.

Dr Kelly argued that if there is need for a joint effort to do seminars and workshops on a larger scale to address the matter, the association would take the necessary steps to have it done.

She urged young persons to stop the activity as it is an unhealthy practice.

"I am appealing to the young people that their bodies are temples of God, and it wasn't designed for homosexuality," she argued.

"The bodies were designed differently so that a man and a woman can enter into sexual relationship in a healthy way when it is done in the boundaries of marriage, and school-age children should not, at this stage, be thinking about sex," she charged.

Jamaica Teachers' Association head, Nadine Molloy Young, said the association had heard about the issue, but had not got any formal complaints from any schools.

Radcliffe Virgo, a cluster leader for school support in the Ministry of Education's Region Four, also confirmed the issue, but said it was always dealt with internally by the various school departments.

"We know all over, and counsellors in the schools just deal with it. Sometimes when we meet in meetings and conference, we talk about it, and sometimes when we have workshops, we would look at ways to deal with the students," he added.

When The Gleaner contacted Colin Blair, director of communications at the Ministry of Education, he said the minister, Andrew Holness, would have to comment on the issue. Holness, however, said he had no comment on the matter.

nadisha.hunter@gleanerjm.com