of Chiara Sity*
In the Italian school, there are many people who experience violence, being marginalized because of their gender identity and their sexual orientation. These people are sometimes teachers, like Professor Bianco, but also auxiliary staff and much more often students.
The story of Professor Cloe Bianco, a transgender teacher who addressed the issue of disciplinary measures for the modalities of her coming out and for her clothes, revealed the school’s deep inability to fulfill its constitutional mandate for a place of education for citizens and To be a citizen. This mandate calls for the school community to have a clear and strong voice in the defense of fundamental human rights (the right to exist with one’s own identity, the right to practice one’s profession, the right to study and to study). and that they know how to actively engage. protect those who are victims of prejudice and discrimination, including by raising awareness and disseminating science-based knowledge. This educational task must be carried out vis-à-vis students, families, staff and the local community and requires explicit support from institutions of any political color, as it concerns the implementation of the human rights on which a democratic society is founded. . Unfortunately, this did not happen in Professor Bianco’s case: on the contrary, local policy discussions have actively intervened to prevent any attempt to protect a person’s teacher and the work of a transgender person.
Also read >> The death of Chloe Bianco is a story of normal transphobia
In a situation like this, we need to start from what we know about the school experience of LGBT + people in Italy and from the many missed opportunities in education policy and practices, starting with three fundamental points.
1. LGBT + people do not do well in school
LGBT + people in the Italian school community are for the most part still subject to discrimination that seriously compromises their ability to live life to the fullest; they often choose invisibility; they are subject to social insults and sanctions for their non-compliance with the majority gender norms (both by colleagues and by teachers themselves); suffer verbal and physical aggression, which they tend not to report, because in their experience the reports have not led to a response (hey Data from an international survey on this topic).
2. The school swims against discrimination and homotransphobic violence
Homotransphobic violence and discrimination can not simply be read as desperate behavior of individuals, but in Italian school they are structural components, inherent in the very functioning of our country’s education policy and school structures. Even with the best of intentions, at school you literally do not know what to do when gender identity issues are at stake: the campaigns of conservative movements against the phantom “gender” have paralyzed educational and violence prevention initiatives throughout Italy. Even in contrast to what happened other European countriesi am almost absent Politics and Practice of School Governance in the field of equality, inclusion, security of sexual minorities and protocols for the reception of persons who do not recognize themselves in the gender assigned at birth.
3. Transgender people do not pose a risk to anyone
The story of Professor Bianco, who came out with her students, was described at the time by the press in dramatic tones, and speaks of students “in shock” and hindering the pedagogical role of the teacher because of their transgender. Learning, he recalls Christian Raimo op The essentialshare a search for truth with others. Teaching can only be rooted in the person of the teacher, but this is not enough – otherwise we will limit ourselves to a romantic, adult-centric idea of a charismatic teacher. Instead, it is what often happens when individuals are left alone, with their own strengths and limits, to handle the multiplicity of the world that is displayed in a classroom. The teachers design a space of the relationship, in which all the subjects are actively involved (if this were not the case, learning would be impossible), and specific conditions that ensure that the school is not just a place is for the transmission of knowledge fragments. but a place where the world is inhabited by knowledge.
Whether we like it or not, learning is always taught twice: the content and methods of a discipline, and the functioning of the social world, of which the class is a microcosm. For this reason, a teacher, an educator, a transgender classmate or a bearer of diversity can in no way compromise the learning, the construction of identity, the quality of school experience. It can, as has unfortunately happened, reveal the violence, prejudices and mechanisms of oppression that pervade society and the day-to-day interactions at school, as well as open up places to transform them. The abandonment of teaching was not only a loss for Professor Bianco, but it deprived the entire school community of something valuable: the opportunity to transform his knowledge, to put his prejudices into crisis, to draw closer to the reality of human life. come.and learn how society in which we live can be transformed from what we do, together, in every school.
Chiara Sità is Professor of General and Social Education in the Human Sciences Department of the University of Verona. His main field of research is the relationship between parents and professionals in the socio-pedagogical services and in the school.
Preview image via robadidonne.it