Israel’s Ministry of Education recently published a policy document that aims to protect the country’s LGBTQ+ school children. The document entitled “Guidelines for providing a sense of protection and a positive response to children and LGBTQ+ youth and families in the education system” sets out for the first time how LGBTQ+ school children should be treated. With LGBTQ students often the target of bullying, these guidelines will help form a protective wall for them.
The Ministry had never before distributed clear guidelines on the subject to schools In Israel, and consequently LGBTQ+ students have sometimes been exposed to arbitrary and inappropriate treatment by educational staff.
Publication of the document is the result of a professional process over many years in the Ministry of Education, mainly by the Psychological Counseling Service, which is dedicated to protecting the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+ students who find themselves in difficult situations. Outgoing Minister of Education Yifat Shasha Biton has given her full support to the professionals who compiled the document and it is to be hoped the policies contained in it will be thoroughly implemented to promote a safer reality for Israel’s LGBTQ+ youth. We do not yet know what the future of these Ministry-driven initiatives will be as the new coalition assumes new roles, but this was certainly a meaningful step in the meantime.