Greetings, everyone. We have come to the end of the Master Class series.
This Master Class gives examples of school, college and university policies against discrimination, bullying, and uniforms. It also provides some ideas for celebrating diversity and social inclusion at the school, college and university. You can refer to the example of a School Policy provided in the resource tab to guide the school, college or university community in creating and /or revising your own learning institution’s constitution, mission statement, and code of conduct.
It is imperative that all learning institutions should take the lead in creating safe and inclusive environments for all children and adolescents to access their right to education. Research shows that harassment, discrimination and bullying can only be combatted by a systemic whole learning institution approach.
Just as a reminder, the purpose of this Master Class series is to promote a learning environment that treats all students/learners with dignity and respect, and not to necessarily change the value systems of individual stakeholders at the learning institution .
Summary of Master Class Series
Staff and Students/Learners
Every student/learner should be helped to develop a sense of personal pride and identity in which they are confident, and respectful towards other people’s identities.
Students/Learners are expected to:
All members of the learning community have a responsibility to comply with this policy and its procedures and behave in a manner that respects all people. The implementation of this policy and its ongoing monitoring and evaluation is the responsibility of the Wellness and Safety Committee of the learning community. The committee must be known to the students/learners.
The School Governing Body (SGB)
is responsible for ensuring that:
All staff members are expected to:
The School Management Team (SMT) is expected to:
Promoting social inclusion by celebrating diversity
Allow students/learners from sexual minorities to form clubs. These clubs can hold discussions about topical issues, perform shows, educate the community about diversity, share LGBTI people’s experiences and celebrate student’s/learners’ talents, and accomplishments.
Should include books, novels and films with LGBTI characters and themes.
Make sure there are known places where children and adolescents can seek help if need be. Often this would be the school counsellor.
Encourage students/learners of all sexual orientations and genders to participate in sports free from intimidation and teasing. Ensure that all students/learners have an opportunity to be physically active and able to express their sporting abilities and interests. Be sure to have sports that include all genders and allow traditional sports to play in teams of both genders.
It is important that the learning institution’s leadership makes an effort to educate the whole learning community about sexual orientation, and gender identity rights.
It is advisable for the learning community to invite members from LGBTI organisations to share information and engage the concerns of individuals as well as respond to questions in an informed and tolerant manner.
It is also beneficial for teachers to include LGBTI perspectives in the classroom and to integrate LGBTI themes into the curriculum where appropriate, and in a respectful manner.
The school-leaving dance is a coming of age occasion. Students/Learners dress up and invite a partner to join them at a school function. Ensure that all learners feel free to bring any partner to the dance, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Celebrate Diversity and Solidarity
In South Africa we celebrate Human Rights Day on 21 March of each year. In order to celebrate diversity, we can support International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on 17 May.
This day promotes respect for LGBTI people world-wide. We can also join in solidarity with LGBTI people on LGBTI Pride Day. This day celebrates pride in one’s sexual identity.
Let’s work together in creating an all inclusive learning environment for all students/learners.
Thank you for participating in this Master Class series. Please feel free to go to our website and resource tab for more information and downloadable exercises, lesson plan examples, etc.