More needs to be done to sensitise people around LGBTI issues

The recent incident wherein an email was circulated requesting the details of learners who identified as LGBTI so their names could be added to a database, has left no doubt that more needs to be done to create safe and non-discriminative environments, at work, at school, at home, and in at-risk communities.

Recently Scotland became the first country in the world where schools would be required to adopt an “LGBTI inclusive” curriculum, including tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and promoting awareness of the history of LGBTI movements.

This move is forward thinking and creates an environment where learners can be taught about issues concerning their sexuality without prejudice or persecution.

It is for this reason that I tabled a motion in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature calling for the house to resolve:

i) That the Department of Education must issue an apology through the same District Office, to the affected learners, and implement policy that will prevent a similar occurrence in future.

ii) That the Department must create awareness and sensitize its employees about pupils’ rights with regards to their sexual identity.

iii) That the official Departmental curriculum includes LGBTI awareness including tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and promoting awareness of the history of LGBTI movements locally and internationally.

iv) That the province, as a whole, will work harder at creating safe and non-discriminative environments, at work, at school, at home, and in at-risk communities.

The Democratic Alliance will continue to work on fostering a culture of acceptance and support. Grounded in our values of freedom, fairness, opportunity and diversity, we are building One South Africa for All.