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01-Dec-2020 15:59

In recent years, lawmakers and school administrators in the Philippines have recognized that bullying of LGBT youth is a serious problem, and designed interventions to address it.In 2012, the Department of Education (Dep Ed), which oversees primary and secondary schools, enacted a Child Protection Policy designed to address bullying and discrimination in schools, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.Human Rights Watch interviewed members of those groups as well as students who were known to those groups, whether or not they had experienced discrimination in school.We sought interviews with students of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, but gay boys and transgender girls were disproportionately represented among the students identified by LGBT groups and the students who attended the group discussions.Human Rights Watch conducted a total of 144 interviews, including with 73 secondary school students or recent graduates who affirmatively identified as LGBT or questioning, 25 students or recent graduates who did not affirmatively identify as LGBT or questioning, and 46 parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, service providers, and experts on education.

To identify interviewees, we conducted outreach through LGBT student groups, particularly at the university level.When I’d get out of school, they’d follow me [and] push me, call me ‘gay,’ ‘faggot,’ things like that.” While verbal bullying appeared to be the most prevalent problem that LGBT students faced, physical bullying and sexualized harassment were also worryingly common—and while students were most often the culprits, teachers ignored or participated in bullying as well.The effects of this bullying were devastating to the youth who were targeted.Representatives of the Church warn that recognizing LGBT rights will open the door to same-sex marriage, and oppose legislation that might promote divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total population control, and homosexual marriage, which they group under the acronym “DEATH.” In a country that is more than 80 percent Catholic, opposition from the Church influences how LGBT issues are addressed in families and schools, with many parents and teachers telling students that being LGBT is immoral or wrong.One way that schools can address bullying and discrimination and ameliorate their effects is by providing educational resources to students, teachers, and staff to familiarize them with LGBT people and issues.

To identify interviewees, we conducted outreach through LGBT student groups, particularly at the university level.

When I’d get out of school, they’d follow me [and] push me, call me ‘gay,’ ‘faggot,’ things like that.” While verbal bullying appeared to be the most prevalent problem that LGBT students faced, physical bullying and sexualized harassment were also worryingly common—and while students were most often the culprits, teachers ignored or participated in bullying as well.

The effects of this bullying were devastating to the youth who were targeted.

Representatives of the Church warn that recognizing LGBT rights will open the door to same-sex marriage, and oppose legislation that might promote divorce, euthanasia, abortion, total population control, and homosexual marriage, which they group under the acronym “DEATH.” In a country that is more than 80 percent Catholic, opposition from the Church influences how LGBT issues are addressed in families and schools, with many parents and teachers telling students that being LGBT is immoral or wrong.

One way that schools can address bullying and discrimination and ameliorate their effects is by providing educational resources to students, teachers, and staff to familiarize them with LGBT people and issues.

But they can also be challenging for students who are gender non-conforming, and feel most comfortable expressing themselves or participating in activities that the school considers inappropriate for their sex.