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Brazil: CNTE defends the rights of LGBTQ+ students in schools

To commemorate the National Day of Lesbian Visibility, 29 August 2019, the Education Commission of the Chamber of Deputies held a debate on discrimination against LGBTI+ students in schools.

The Secretary for Human Rights of the National Confederation of Education Workers (Confederaçāo Nacional dos Trabalhadores em Educaçāo – CNTE) José Christovam de Mendonça Filho spoke about prejudice against LGBTQ+ students in schools and universities which has led to them abandoning their education. He explained that the absence of transgender persons in high schools and universities was a clear sign of the extent of prejudice. He also noted that many teachers, particularly those on temporary contracts, face discrimination or dismissal on account of their sexual orientation.  “We are committed to creating open, democratic and pluralist public schools, based on academic freedom, so that school curriculum can embrace respect for all”, he concluded.  

The Federal Attorney for Citizens’ Rights, Deborah Duprat, speaking at the event, also criticised school books because they always portrayed a traditional heterosexual urban family with the mother at home looking after the children. Others criticised the current government’s “anti-gender crusade”.