The introduction of LGBT issues in schools is not the most obvious theme for schools. In most schools, sexuality in general and LGBT issues specifically are taboo and in many cases even forbidden. This kit aims to provide tools to help schools, school support institutions and LGBT activist organizations to deal with this subject. GALE and its partners have a great interest in working with schools. This is in the first place to make the school more accessible for all students and a better learning environment for LGBT students. GALE estimates that annually, more than 6 million LGBT students are dropping out of school because of harassment by peers and incredibly, also by staff. In order to create a safer and better learning environment, the school also needs to be a safe working space for LGBT teachers and other staff. Currently, in many countries, staff can be fired just for identifying as LGBT or when they offer neutral or positive information on LGBT issues. Finally, the content of the curriculum needs to be more relevant for students. LGBT students need to know more about issues that pertain to them specifically. They usually are not taught relevant life issues at home and have to rely on the school for this. HIV prevention and coping with stigma and discrimination are extremely important issues for them to survive. The curriculum should not only have relevant information for LGBT identified students and students who question their sexual orientation or gender identity, but also for heterosexually identified students. They may lack knowledge, behave in a prejudiced and negative way, and often feel insecure and aggressive towards non conformist behaviors. They need to get objective information and learn tolerance and respect.
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