Schools, Bullying & The LGBT Community

By: Cristina Ramírez Ellín

The University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez hosted the V Coloquio ¿Del Otro La’o? Coloquio de Sexualidades Queer from March 4 to 6, 2014.  This activity it consisted a panel about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Transsexual community and how the students faced this problem in the schools.  They eventually expressed and communicated some of his experiences.

On March 4, a panel titled “Sexualidades ‘Queer’ Educación y Bullying” (Queer Sexualities: Bullying and Education), took place in the Amphitheater Ramón Figueroa Chapel; Scholar’s Dr. María R. Scharrón-del Río, Dr. Mabel T. López Ortíz and Dr. Loida Martínez Ramos were the members of the panel.

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From left to right: Dr. María Scharrón, Dr. Mabel López & Dr. Loida Martínez

Dr. Scharrón-del Río, associate professor and the program coordinator of the School Counseling Graduate Program in the Department of School Psychology, Counseling and Leadership (SPCL) at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, began the session with a dramatic skit of one of her experiences with her gay partner. She then asked the audience what they thought as they heard the story.

Dr. Scharrón, talked about “how to challenge homophobia, heterosexism, and heteronormativity in schools and higher education settings.” By sharing her story with the public, she mentioned that her works involves a series of activities performed with specific groups that share interests. “I participate in these activities to develop multicultural competencies in counselors, psychologists, and educators, using experiential and affective educational approaches” Dr. Scharrón concluded.

Subsequently López Ortiz, professor at the University of Puerto Rico – Río Piedras, discussed homophobic bullying and scholar bullying as an issue.  As a reference, she mentioned a questionnaire to social workers where the results show that women are more likely to be victims. “The role of professional school social work with relation to this issue, suggest management distant figures and some sensible direction and not in defense of sexual diversity” stated Dr. López.  She concluded that “the victims take impacts social, emotional, physical and verbal.”

In the final presentation Martínez Ramos, vice president of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rican Association for Family Welfare, read articles and quotes from people with knowledge on the subject of bullying and education.  The panel ended with an animated question and answer period.

According to the official Website of UPRM, “this is an initiative of a group of students and teachers from RUM to make room for an international forum for dialogue and debate on issues not heteronormative sexualities also known as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Transsexual).”

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