The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits discrimination based in particular on sex and sexual orientation. Nevertheless, the European Commission Agency for Fundamental Rights continues to report discrimination and hostility against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual, queer, asexual persons and persons with other sexual identities (LGBTIQA+). To ensure that everyone can fully enjoy the fundamental rights they are entitled to under EU and national law, the European Commission has published a list of measures to promote equality for LGBTIQA+ people in 2015. LGBTIQA+ persons who are minors are particularly in need of protection.
Discrimination does not always arise from bad faith, often ignorance is the basis. That is why education and awareness-raising are an important part of the measures to prevent discrimination and build tolerance. At the European School Munich, the initiative to talk about LGBTIQA+ came from interested students of the Secondary School itself. At their suggestion, a workshop on the topic was offered for the first time in the 2018/19 school year for the S5 classes, organised by the school psychology and the counselling and support team. Last week, the workshop took place for the third time. A total of about 190 S5 pupils took part.
Expertise on the subject was provided by the Munich Awareness Project, an education initiative sponsored by the Social Department of the City of Munich. This initiative offers Munich schools the opportunity to visit classes of people who have been trained in pedagogical and didactic aspects of the topic. In a confidential circle, the young people were able to ask all the questions that interested them in an open discussion. Thanks to their many years of experience at many other schools, the guests were able to answer competently and in an age-appropriate manner.
Overall, the participating pupils drew a positive conclusion from the meeting. In order to further promote an open, positive, respectful and tolerant school climate, which is a top priority for the European School Munich, the workshops will continue to be offered in the future. With the help of the workshops, the European School Munich would also like to send a clear signal to students who are affected and who can often suffer psychologically, for example in the form of deep feelings of shame or depression: You are not alone and we will not leave you alone.
If you are interested and have questions on the topic, please contact the School Psychologist.