Education minister lashes critics of anti-bullying policy, says gays have rights too
Education minister Ronald Thwaites is asserting that gays have rights like any other citizen, as he blasts critics of the new security manual to address bullying in schools.
On July 14, Thwaites told House of Representatives that come September when the new academic year begins, the revised Security and Safety Guidelines will be implemented to address the bullying of gay students, among others.
However, Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Thwaites said since that announcement, there have been unnecessary concerns that the guidelines were the outcome of pressure from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Jamaica.
Thwaites said that is not true, adding that the security guidelines address bullying of all students in schools.
The Education Minister also reiterated that the guidelines were informed by a survey conducted by the Child Development Agency earlier this year.
That survey indicated that 65 per cent of students have reported being bullied.
The revised manual stipulates that school administrators should provide guidelines for creating awareness about bullying and identify sanctions for breaches.
All reports of bullying must be documented and steps taken to deal with victims and offenders.