Concrete Steps: Working with Teachers and School Counselors related to LGBT Students in High Schools

DSCF3199 (Small)Last weekend in Sarajevo, the 30.11 and 1.12, we held a training at Hotel Sarajevo called “(Re)Education about Homophobia and Transphobia in High Schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina” as a part of the EU-financed project “Coming Out! Advocacy and Projection of the Rights of LGBT People.” The project is implemented by the Heinrich Boll Foundation BiH together with SOC and the CURE Foundation.

The general goal of this training was to support our schools’ teachers, future teachers, staff, and administration through suggestions about inclusive work with LGBT students.

The participants had the opportunity during the first day to learn more about the basic terms connected with activism and the human rights of LGBT people, as well as the specificities, problems, and needs of LGBT students. We presented research about public opinion on homosexuality that was performed in high schools in Zagreb. During the second day of the training, participants had the opportunity to work on awareness of prejudices, the problems that the cause and how they can affect work with young LGBT people.   Through shared experiences, interactive exercises, and discussions they can adopt methods and an approach to supporting LGBT students.  The facilitators of the training were Ivana Dračo, Belma Žiga, Vladana Vasić, and regional experts: Jelena Milić Jerković from Belgrade and Amir Hodžić from Zagreb.

Present were 19 teachers and psychologists from Olovo, Zenica, Sarajevo, Tuzla, Bihac, Visoko, Odzak, Kaknjo, Zavidovic, and Novi Travnik. They talked, discussed, and learned about methods of supporting LGBT students. The interactive training was successful; it produced a few concrete beginning steps in the sensitizing of school employs to work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students in high schools all over Bosnia.

To see how the training went, take a look at our photo gallery.