Remind the Ministry of Education and other relevant institutions of their obligation – Demand them change and exclude discriminatory content against LGBT people in high school textbooks!
Do you know that 9 Biology, Psychology and Medicine high school textbooks contain explicit discriminatory content in 18 places, which are not only related to human rights violations but also are breaches of constitutional and other laws in Serbia?
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In 2011, within its mandate, Commissioner for the protection of Equality formed the working group for analysis of primary and secondary school curriculums and teaching materials and issued the Recommendations that were sent out to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, to the National Education Council of the Republic of Serbia and to the Department of improving the quality of education in order to remove such discriminatory content from these materials and practices, while promoting tolerance and respect for human rights.
Those Recommendations were never applied!
In accordance with what is stated above and thanks to the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Serbia, Labris initiated a new analysis of the content of these high school textbooks in order to see if there were any changes regarding the discriminatory content.
The analysis was carried out through qualitative content analysis from a sample of 26 textbooks for Psychology, Biology and Medicine, which were used in the 2013/2014 school year.
The Ministry of Education is a signatory of the Strategy and Action Plan for the implementation of strategies for the prevention and protection against discrimination for the period from 2014 to 2018 and are obligated to fulfill the planned activities and changes – which has not been done.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO URGENTLY CHANGE THE DISCRIMINATORY CONTENT?
- It is in violation of the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Serbia
- The content is not in accordance with facts provided by the science community
- It supports the stereotypes and prejudices in society towards LGBT people and indirectly encourages violence and discrimination against LGBT people
- Young LGBT people are in a sensitive period of growing up and are in adolescence. They are often in emotional pain and socially excluded as sick and socially deviant due to such discrimination. Based on indicators from various studies, young people, because of rejection and/or the misunderstandings of the family and society related to their sexual orienation or gender identity, are:
about 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide
about 5.9 times more prone to depression
- The discrimination causes difficulty in the work of teachers who work in high schools, whose mission is to work on tolerance and respect of differences and the prevention of violence in schools.