LGBTQ+ Educators Face Discrimination At Schools

While South African schools have been marked as the playground for bullies, this extends to teachers as the LGBTQ community reports discrimination targeted against them. 

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The LGBTQ+ community has said that they are targets of bullying and discrimination in schools.

KwaZulu-Natal South African Democratic Teacher's Union (SADTU)'s Provincial Secretary, Nomarashiya Caluza, confirmed the accusations of discrimination against gay teachers in schools. 

We are dealing with this unfortunate situation where our comrade teachers were sharing their own personal experiences with how they have been treated in their schools as well as in communities they work in. The situation is bad because in some situations they are even denied promotions. 

SADTU is now saying that measures to fight this kind of bullying in schools should be prioritized. 

Caluza related an experience where a teacher in KZN was chased away by a school principal because he was wearing a skirt, saying that the principal referred to the gay teacher as a disgrace in the school. No one should tolerate bullying based on their sexual preferences, said Caluza. 

The Union's Secretary raised an issue of gay students who suffer from the same challenges of discrimination by their peers and called it unfortunate. 

The teachers union said the recent workshop has been focussed on empowering gay teachers to continue sharing their frustrations. 

Another incident that was brought to light was the occurrence where some teachers from the LGBTQ+ community were referred to as devil worshippers. Caluza said no human being should be called a “devil worshipper” on the basis that they are gay or any kind beliefs they have.

SADTU has called upon the all the education stakeholders such as the Department of Education and the South African Council of Educators to intervene and share their expertise in dealing with this kind of discrimination in schools. 

The Department of Education is fully aware of the allegations, and nothing has come forth in the way implementing measures to fight the discrimination against LGBTQ teachers, said Caluza. 

The teachers union said they will continue educating communities and raise awareness against the scourge of discrimination based on sexual orientation. 

SADTU also added that the school is a place of learning and teaching and shouldn’t be a playground for discrimination.  

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