“A Jamaican activist described the importance of U.S. leadership in combatting homophobia in Jamaica, stressing that ―governments present and future must be made to feel grossly uncomfortable at the international level”.
……..Human Rights First: “The world as it should be Pg 21………
We await the truth of the matter of the guidance counsellors but note and think that it is important that others see the Gleaner for what it is …….an LGBTTTIQ activist .
It should be noted however that the Gleaner has not sought to hide it pro-LGBTTTIQ commitments as it has advocated for same sex marriage and consistently calls pro-natural order and heterosexual marriage only supporters “bigots” and “homophobic”
Despite the report below Nina Dixon stated on the TBC 88.5 FM morning programme “Special Edition” on Friday January 15th that she did not say what the LGBTTTIQ activist Gleaner claims she had said.
Published:Monday | January 11, 2016 | 12:02 AM
Newly-elected president of the Jamaica Association for Guidance Counsellors in Education (JAGCE), Nina Dixon, has raised concerns that several of the approximately 800 guidance counsellors that work in schools are refusing to offer counsel to students that identify as gay or lesbian.
“I have students who have come into my office and they have expressed how they feel about their sexual orientation or their feelings.We have counsellors who are of the Christian faith who will not touch it or look at those students at all,” Dixon told The Gleaner.
While no official survey has been done to capture data on the number of students that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ), Dixon believes that the numbers are growing. She said, too, that counsellors are not equipped to deal with these students.
The 2012 National Survey of Attitudes and Perception of Jamaicans Towards Same Sex Relationships found that 50 per cent of those surveyed became aware of homosexuality by age 14.
The study also shows a persistence of strong negative views towards homosexuality.
The JAGCE president is worried that the attitude of guidance counsellors towards gay and lesbian students is detrimental given that oftentimes, these students have no one else to turn to.
Statistics show that lesbians and gays are two to four times more likely than heterosexuals to seek counselling and are more likely to disclose their sexual orientation to school counsellors than they are to any other school staff member.
Research also shows, however, that 50 per cent of LGBTQ individuals do not receive successful counselling intervention becaus of counsellors’ homophobic attitudes.
“We cannot run away from it and I don’t plan to run away from it … . It is a big issue and we are burying our heads. Homosexuality is an issue that, if we don’t deal with it carefully, it can become a bigger issue where we have buggering in the schools … and if we keep running away from it, it will just make the situation worst,” she said.
While the Ministry of Education has no official policy document on LGBTQ issues in schools, it released a safety and security manual last year after concerns about bullying of gay and lesbian students surfaced.
On Tuesday the LGBTTTIQ activist Gleaner called some guidance counsellors homophobic and child abusers .
It should be noted that the Associated Press (AP) advised that the word homophobia should not be used by its journalists. According to the AP :
” “-phobia,” “an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness” should not be used “in political or social contexts,” including “homophobia” and “Islamophobia”
Editorial: Homophobic Guidance Counsellors Are Child Abusers
Published:Tuesday | January 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM
When Ronald Thwaites, Jamaica’s education minister, announced the dissemination of a security manual aimed at deterring the bullying of gay schoolchildren, he might not have realised that guidance counsellors were among the main culprits.
It is appalling that radicalised faith-based guidance counsellors in Jamaica’s public schools are refusing to help gay and lesbian students who may be struggling with their sexual orientation and the mistreatment and social slight that are not unfamiliar to sexual minorities. Instead of performing their core duties, some have turned their sensitive posts into soapboxes from which promote denominational interests and proselytise.
Though Nina Dixon, president of the Jamaica Association of Guidance Counsellors in Education, did not quantify the scope of the problem, we assume that she raised the issue of discrimination because it is sufficiently widespread and culturally entrenched to cause emotional harm to marginalised communities.
This is particularly galling because guidance counsellors are, presumably, the mediators best equipped with the techniques and emotional intelligence to interface with gay students. However, they have allowed themselves to become disciples of zealotry that make them indistinguishable from the mob that promotes insularity and hatred.
What this points to is the fact that guidance counsellors have allowed their professional responsibilities to be trumped by their religious sensibilities in a clear betrayal of their duty and a shameless pandering to the lowest common denominator. Schools – even public ones which are operated by churches in conjunction with the Government – ought not to be the headquarters of homophobia.
That some counsellors have victimised children proves that some of these therapists are incapable of performing the fundamentals of their job, and their continued presence poses a danger to school communities and individual students. Though Jamaica’s buggery laws remain a tribute to medievalism, even gay students have constitutional rights against discrimination.
Such scandalous conduct must not be excused as a right to personal views or freedom of religion. Guidance counsellors are employed by schools under the aegis of the Ministry of Education to be a sounding board for children suffering psychological trauma or exhibiting behavioural problems. They are expected to cultivate in boys and girls healthy self-esteem and respect for the community and display a high degree of trustworthiness.
Jamaica’s teachers’ colleges and other tertiary organisations that conduct guidance counselling programmes should view with alarm the prevalence of anti-gay stigma that has contaminated their ranks and remodel their curricula with a focus on empathy and professional propriety.
And the Child Development Agency, Office of the Children’s Advocate and Office of the Public Defender should probe public schools to determine just how endemic anti-gay stigma is to the corps of guidance counsellors and consider whether any charges might be preferred against offenders. These counsellors are desperate for guidance themselves!
LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson a Jamaican in a same sex marriage in Canada and who has filed a constitutional claim against the Jamaican government to have the buggery law removed. seizes on the story.
Tomlinson reports to Human Rights First , an organization which has recommended to the Obama Administration several ways to pressure the Jamaican government to accept the LGBTTTIQist ideology, that Jamaica is failing its LGBT youth.
January 15, 2016
Jamaica is failing its LGBT youth
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This week the president of the Jamaica Association for Guidance Counsellors in Education (JAGCE) revealed that some homophobic school counselors completely shun LGBT students. She explained, “we have counsellors who are of the Christian faith who will not…look at those students at all.”
In response to the revelation—and to calls to train counselors on working with LGBT students—the head of Jamaica’s teachers union Norman Allen brandished the sodomy law as a shield to justify this discrimination. Allen said that the Jamaica Teachers’ Association cannot call for counselors to be trained to work with LGBT youth because sodomy is illegal in the country. Allen went even further, implying that LGBT students should be reported to government agencies.
This is one of many examples of the ways my country’s sodomy law, which criminalizes all forms of intimacy between men even in private, is used to justify the daily violence and discrimination that LGBT people face in Jamaica. In this case, the law is exacerbating the rejection vulnerable Jamaican youth suffer. LGBT youth—like many other LGBT Jamaicans—experience violence, discrimination in access to services, and bullying in schools. And in addition to facing rejection from their peers, many of these students are also rejected by those officially designated to support them through a developmentally crucial and difficult time.
Jamaica is failing its vulnerable youth, and defending this failure with a law that, at its very core, infringes upon the rights of Jamaica’s LGBT population. In November 2015, I filed a constitutional challenge against Jamaica’s sodomy law, citing the law’s violation of the protections outlined in Jamaica’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. These include the rights to liberty and freedom of the person, freedom of expression, privacy and family life, and freedom from inhuman or degrading punishment or other treatment, among others.
This is just one of the many efforts that I and other members of Jamaican civil society are undertaking in order to transform society and make our country one that fully respects the rights and freedoms of all. It is my hope that this constitutional challenge will eventually lead to a decision that prioritizes the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Jamaicans, including our LGBT youth.
Maurice Tomlinson is a Jamaican attorney and human rights activist currently with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network. As part of his activism, he acts as counsel and/or claimant in cases challenging anti-gay laws before the most senior tribunals in the Caribbean, authors reports to regional and UN agencies on the human rights situation for LGBTI people in this region, conducts judicial and police LGBTI and HIV-sensitization trainings, and facilitates human rights documentation and advocacy capacity-building exercises. In 2012, Maurice received the inaugural David Kato Vision and Voice Award, which recognizes individuals who defend human rights and the dignity of LGBTI people around the world.