DIFFERENT FAMILIES, SAME LOVE COMPETITION WINNERS
We called on teachers to take action in their classrooms to celebrate the diversity of people and families in Ireland and to address homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Different Families, Same Love’.
Families are at the heart of all our lives. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some families have a mother, some have a father, some have a mother and father, some have two mothers, some have two fathers, some children live with other family members like grandparents or aunts and uncles while some families have no kids (just grown-ups). Some children are born into their family while others are adopted or fostered. Sometimes families live together and sometimes they might live in different places. A family is when people love and take care of each other.
Junior Category (Junior Infants to 2nd Class)
1st Prize: Senior Infants, Shellybanks ETNS
2nd Prize: Junior Infants, Dún Laoghaire ETNS
Joint 3rd Prize: 1st Class, Rutland NS and Senior Infants, Dublin 7 ETNS
Senior Category (3rd to 6th Class)
1st Prize: 4th Class, Hansfield ETNS
2nd Prize: 6th Class, Castleknock ETNS
Joint 3rd Prize: 3rd and 4th Class, Newtown NS and 3rd Class, St. Mary's NS Dorset Street
- iPad for your class
- Raffle for €100 voucher for all participating teachers
- Hamper of books for your school
- Lots of runner up prizes!
Entries were judged on creativity, originality and relevance to the inclusive theme of ‘Different Families, Same Love’. Prizes were awarded to coincide with International Family Equality Day (IFED) and International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) in May 2018.
- ‘Different Families Same Love’ poster and lesson ideas
- All Together Now!
- Lessons based around inclusive picture books
(All available at http://www.into.ie/lgbt/EducationalResources/)
THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY IN IRELAND
Families are central to the formation of children’s identity and are the primary lens through which they view their world. ‘Myself and My Family’ is a core strand unit of the Social, Personal & Health Education (SPHE) Curriculum. It is vitally important for all children to see their families represented in the course of these lessons. It is also essential to create a positive school climate that fosters respect and acceptance of all family structures.
Unfortunately, LGBT young people and children from families with same-sex parents often experience homophobic and transphobic bullying and prejudice in their schools and communities. Addressing different families through age-appropriate discussions and activities can help promote a more respectful environment in your classroom and in your school.
HOW CAN SCHOOLS MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Teachers can influence attitudes by representing different identities in a positive light through classroom discussions and activities in SPHE as well as in other curricular subjects like English, Art, and Drama. The Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary Schools and Post-Primary Schools, have also been designed to give direction and guidance to school personnel in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour amongst its students.
When schools are proactive in preventing homophobic and transphobic bullying and strive to make all children and young people feel included, all students have a greater sense of well-being.
HOMOPHOBIC AND TRANSPHOBIC BULLYING
Homophobic and transphobic bullying has been found to be widespread in Irish schools. It affects those who are LGBT, those perceived to be LGBT, those raised in families headed by LGBT parents, those with LGBT friends or relatives, those perceived to be outside the norms that constitute “feminine” and “masculine” behaviour and those that witness the bullying as bystanders.
Research has shown that bullying impacts negatively on a child's learning, their attendance at school, and their mental health and well-being. Experiencing bullying behaviour and minority stress (experiences of stigmatisation, discrimination, social exclusion and harassment) can be attributed to the development of low self-esteem, self-harm and suicidal behaviour.
WHAT CAN TEACHERS DO?
Help to promote the value of diversity, address prejudice and stereotyping, and highlight the unacceptability of bullying.
As teachers and educators, we want to promote an inclusive learning environment – one that empowers students, teachers and staff to celebrate difference and challenge prejudice. By using Different Families Same Love and other LGBT resources, implementing comprehensive anti-bullying policies, and focusing on inclusive language, you can help to safeguard a positive learning environment for all children in your school.