SchoolMates is the national ARCIGAY program aimed at networking school groups to fight against bullying
Since 2002 Arcigay has been collaborating locally with various schools for the creation of workshops and training courses on the subject bullying, of deconstructing stereotypes and respecting differences, with the aim of facilitate the path of self-construction of* LGBTI young people and to make school an inclusive and safe environment. The results achieved in the 2015/2016 school year were significant: in the 1,081 workshops and meetings at the school, we met over 64,000 students*. Unfortunately, however, the undertaking is titanic: it is like emptying the sea with a spoon, Today more than ever. Not only because homophobia in comments and behavior is widespread in school (69% of LGBTI people have been the victim of negative comments or behavior, and 93% have witnessed it according to research by the European Agency for Fundamental Rights). But also why there is a growing tendency of institutions to curb educational actions on this issue due, above all, to the no-gender homophobic crusade. Schoolmates tries to overcome this obstacle by raising two complementary models of intervention: the classic one of interventions "from above" and a more innovative one of mobilizing students "from below".
The growing hostility to educational interventions and empowerment at school pushed Arcigay to overhaul the Schoolmates program with the goal of create new alliances and solidarity in schools, starting above all with the students themselves LGBTI and heterosexual.
The planned actions
The #SchoolMates Program includes a series of specific actions:
- Consolidate and disseminate a homogeneous intervention model in all Arcigay associations with new materials that can be used even in situations of scarce local resources;
- Promote and support with practical tools, materials and communication initiatives, la birth of groups of LGBTI and heterosexual students interested in building forms of alliance and solidarity from below;
- Structuring ongoing training courses to improve skills of Arcigay volunteers and volunteers on the territory, including those to act more effectively where the so-called "no-gender" have created hostility, but also to provide groups created in schools with the skills to self-organise on LGBTI issues.
- Train local Arcigay volunteers with new tools adequate not only to intervene directly in schools, but also to support self-organized groups of male and female students in the LGBTI field. Expected budget 7,000 euros;
- Design and distribute a material kit diversified for school workshops and for groups of students to support solidarity work from below (handbooks, manuals, flyers, posters, studies and research). Expected budget 12,000 euros;
- Create a website that it becomes an educational and popular reference point, but also a mobilization point for boys and girls in schools, with materials to download for self-organization. Expected budget 11,000 euros.
To see the path that Arcigay has made up to now, all the activities carried out, and learn more about the topic, click here.