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War with the Ombudsman for Children’s Rights. "This is a fight against an imaginary LGBT ideology"

War with the Children's Ombudsman. "This is a fight against an imaginary LGBT ideology"

Image source: © Materiały prasowe
Maja Kozłowska,
26.05.2023 16:30

The Children's Ombudsman in Poland has announced an inspection at schools that ranked high in the LGBTQ+ Friendly Schools Ranking. The GrowSpace Foundation announces that it will defend schools that protest against discrimination.

The National LGBTQ+ Friendly Schools Ranking is a project by activist Dominik Kuc. At the beginning of May this year, the results of the 5th edition appeared - a secondary school from Gdansk and two secondary schools from Warsaw were on the podium. Almost 20,000 students rated the schools for their openness and safety of the LGBTQ+ community.

Mikołaj Pawlak, The Children's Ombudsman, is concerned about the "ranking of pseudo-rainbow-friendly schools", which he read about "in a newspaper that is slowly becoming German". He announced that inspections would be carried out in the schools included in the list. The checkups are expected to start as early as May.

Legal shield for LGBTQ+ friendly schools

The Children's Ombudsman did not mince his words. He expressed deep concern that there was a risk of sex offenders being recruited for work and other irregularities in the schools that students considered the most welcoming and safe.

In short, educational institutions that fight discrimination and ensure that all pupils feel comfortable in them are on the target of the Children's Ombudsman and the Polish government.

The organisers of the LGBTQ+ Friendly Schools Ranking however, are not giving up. The activists have arranged for a legal shield for schools, which will allow head teachers to avoid scrutiny and certify that anti-discrimination measures are part of the law at school.

It is sad that the Children's Ombudsman has doubts about the validity of measures to prevent inequality of opportunity in schools. Are government institutions failing once again?

Legal shield, the fight and psychological support

The legal shield was drafted by Robert Lisiewicz, lawyer of the LGBTQ+ Friendly Schools Ranking. It is based on, among others, the Polish Constitution, the Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Teachers' Charter.

"Schools are obliged to respect the gender identity of their students, and the fact that they are working more deeply in this area shows that their rights are more fully realised," says Robert Lisiewicz.

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"The announcement of control of LGBTQ+ friendly schools made by Mikołaj Pawlak is peculiar, but not surprising. It fits in with the line of the ruling party and the Minister of Education, who are fighting against imaginary LGBT ideology and local governments, including - especially - Warsaw," adds Dorota Łoboda, Chair of the Education Committee in the Warsaw Council.

GrowSPACE Foundation activists have announced that they will provide legal aid to all schools that are inspected by the Children's Ombudsman. The organisation has also decided on psychological support for LGBTQ+ students from the schools mentioned.

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