Gay school bullies are just as bad
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The Inner City Teachers Coalition (ICTC) is expressing concern that the move by the Ministry of Education to address the issue of bullyism in our schools is not far-reaching enough in its scope. Statements that have been reported in the media which have been attributed to the minister, have singled out the fact that students who practise or appear to be practising alternative lifestyles are being bullied and that measures are now being put in place to reduce such incidence in our schools.
However, based on reports from the membership, the coalition is of the view that bullying of heterosexual students by groups practising alternative lifestyle is much more widespread. These groups are known to prey on weaker students and intimidate them with a view to pressuring them to join the alternative lifestyle that is being practised by the group. Whenever the advances of members of the group are resisted, oftentimes the students are assaulted physically, and sometimes even sexually.
Many of these incidents go unreported for various reasons, including the fact that administrators are keen to ensure that the image of the schools is not tarnished. In addition to this, many of the victims of this type of bullyism fail to report these matters for fear of reprisal from the group as well as the stigma that is attached to attacks of this nature.
The ICTC is, therefore, calling on the ministry to either offer clarity on the new policy initiative of bullyism or to redesign this new initiative to ensure that it deals with all aspects of bullyism in our schools.
Inner City Teachers