Activists: Bullying policy won’t protect LGBTI

| 20/09/2019 | 63 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): Local advocacy group Colours Cayman, which fights for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, has raised concerns that the education ministry’s proposed school anti-bullying rules will not protect students in that community. The list of groups that could be victims of bullying does not include sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI), even though this group is already the most bullied in Cayman. And, Colours noted, some of it is coming from Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly herself.

In submissions that the group has made to the Ministry of Education, the activists note a number of legal and policy problems with the proposed rules. They note that discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity “is endemic in the Cayman Islands”.

Colours pointed to the previous governor’s concerns over the the lack of recognition of LGBTI rights here. In her departing message Helen Kilpatrick made it clear that the UK government wants Cayman to prohibit discrimination against this group.

“This is an opportunity to start complying with our own Constitution,” the advocacy group said in a release about its submissions. “The need for such an inclusion is not theoretical but sufficiently evidenced by the actions of some of our own politicians who frequently call for sexual hatred and violence against Caymanians on grounds of the their SOGI.”

The group listed some of the comments by former deputy speaker and veteran MLA Anthony Eden in the Legislative Assembly during debates about the marriage law, where among many other things he has describing homosexuality as “deviant behaviour”, and LGBTIs as “wicked and immoral”.

O’Connor Connolly, whose ministry is shaping the current education department’s policy and new regulations on the issue, was also singled out for the comments she has made in the past. They noted her call for people opposed to gay marriage to crash and disrupt a planned same-sex marriage ceremony after the chief justice’s decision to legalise gay marriage, which is currently in the hands of the appeal court.

“These …examples …show how our leaders encourage the behaviour that these regulations aim to stop,” the advocates said. They argued that bullying is often the consequence of community leaders or parents encouraging the intimidation and humiliation of others. Only by admitting that bullying on grounds of SOGI is an entrenched problem in local schools will they “achieve a more inclusive and eventually more tolerant society in the Cayman Islands”, Colours said.

The proposed regulations state that all schools’ anti-bullying policy must include provisions that prohibit both written and verbal bullying, unwanted physical contact and negatively commenting about a person’s looks, clothes, body, sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, age, mental or physical disability, property, birth or other status.

With sexual orientation and gender identity left off the list, Colours said those groups will not be protected, as “other status” is a flawed term that lacks certainty.

“All Caymanians should feel welcome and safe at school so that they reach their full potential,” the activists said. “This includes LGBTI Caymanians. By excluding SOGI from the list of prohibited conducts, which includes inter alia property, these regulations are insulting LGBTI Caymanians and are an affront to a minimum sense of decency of the Cayman Islands society at large. Neither the LGBTI Caymanians nor the society at large deserve such a disfavour.”

Colours noted that the widespread attitude in society that condones discrimination against the LGBTI community is reflected in the bullying by young people on those grounds, so students could be punished for copying what their parents and community leaders have encouraged. So long as that continues, the behaviour of young people will not change

Colours said that if there ever was any actual change, “there must be a space in the school where the victimiser’s attention can be drawn to the detrimental effect of their conduct and, in particular, to discuss openly the rationale …for such behaviour”.

The group suggested that the regulations should also be amended to include an alternative to discipline to deal with bullying before imposing a punishment that could have long term consequences for the student without solving the issue of bullying.

See the full release in the CNS Library


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Category: Community, Education, Local News

Comments (63)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Seems inclusive to me. How will gender identity or sexual orientation make it less vague? It doesn’t matter anyway because Cayman doesn’t do anything nforcement.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a soft generation… Yall soft and all the hungry people gonna be eating yall lunch and then what are you going to do… Legislate prosperity back. Its already happening while you clog up the government with all sorts of shot the Chinese soon be regulating your clots.

    Raise your kids to be strong and resilient. Dont worry about the governor or whoever they is weak and drunk off prosperity… parasitcally…

    This world is rough has been will be..

    Keep smiling rho and love all through it all.. But don’t forget the truth.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Think about this: A person who believes the world is six thousand years old, demons are real, and praying moves hurricanes is in charge of educating Cayman’s youth. What could possibly go wrong?

    #lame

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  4. Anonymous says:

    thank you anthony eden for making this an island filled with hate.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    So sad that there is all this hate and fear of gays in Caymanian culture. If only Christianity encouraged or demanded love for all. Wouldn’t that be great?

    #lame

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Everything and anything Caymanian is fading away far too quickly. We need to take our country back!

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  7. wake up, Juliana says:

    How is it that the single LEAST QUALIFIED person imaginable is put in charge of the ministry that is responsible for educating children? Juliana O’Connor-Connelly is an embarrassment to the Cayman Islands. Her ignorance of, and lack of compassion for, the LGBTI community is inexcusable. I’m ashamed to be from the same country she is from. But hear this, Juliana: Same-sex marriage is coming and soon. Enshrining it in the law is perhaps the only way to get the message through thick heads like yours that we in the LGBTI community ARE entitled to ALL of the same rights as any other Caymanian. Shame on you for voting to waste the people’s money to fight Justice Smellie’s ruling when you know full well that you are going to lose. Wake up, Juliana: The current year is 2019 — not 1500.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I have brought it up several times. She obviously has some serious protection. Even anti-corruption committee has not reviewed auditor-general brought concerns about her spendings.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And this also is the woman charged with overseeing our education system. She is the least qualified of all to such a job, knows nothing about it and thankfully got out of education after only 2 years in the classroom because she was crap. Serious protection indeed when government equipment can be shipped to the Brac to build driveways for households. Some would see this as outright corruption but not in Cayman.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s sad when you see the amount of thumbs down for some of the posts on here how can the bullying ever stop if these are the reactions of some of the parents who must clearly agree with bullying we should all be allowed to live our lives in peace no matter what your sexual orientation, race religion etc is. Love and respect needs to be taught in the home.

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  9. Cha man says:

    This article and Colours is actually giving the Ministry of Education too much credit. The Law Reform Commission actually initiated the ammendment to the Law regarding bullying, and the Commission wrote the ammendment. I think the only thing the Ministry has had to do with that ammendment to date was to offer some edits and pose a few questions. So, while I totally understand that the point is that it does not do enough for a vulnerable section of our population, it has nothing to do with the Minister of Education nor the Ministry because they didn’t have the actual foresight, initiative nor ambition to write the ammendment in the first place.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Caymankind……hypocrites

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    • Anonymous says:

      Godlesskind, self-appointed moral autorities

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      • Anonymous says:

        “Godlesskind Self appointed moral authorities”

        Says the lot who run around condemning everyone who doesn’t believe in their particular sky fairy
        You people have been peddling arbitrary morality for 2000 years
        Its about damn time you got a taste of your own medicine

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      • Anonymous says:

        Who are these ‘moral autorities’ you refer to? But, how can we expect someone as backward as you to learn to spell correctly.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Julianna O’Connolly has failed on every level. Can someone please take the wheel and send her back to her cave in the Brac where she belongs.

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  12. J|) says:

    I see the BibleBots have come out to play. Cute. My turn now..

    Stop the bullying against our fellow Caymanians. If you’re vegan you can’t stop me from entering KFC.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    I was thinking yesterday about human chimeras and transgender children.. I don’t think that every gay or trans person is a dual sex chimera. But I think that the majority are, probably the vast majority.
    So what’s a chimera? To simplify it, It’s the opposite of twins in one way. It’s also when you are your own twin. Instead of your brother or sister being born with you, the two of you smoosh together, and you’re born as one child with 2 DNA. In other words, sometimes two embryos merge into one. We know this happens.We don’t know exactly how often it happens, but it happens. Most people don’t get tested to find out if they are a chimera.
    So why I am taking about it?
    May be people need to learn that there is a biological reason for people born with a male brain in a female body and vice versa.Brain and nervous system made from ectoderm (outer layer). Digestive tract, respiratory system, liver and pancreas made of endoderm (inner core). What happens when two separate embryos merge into one? Science say that most of the time, one of those wraps around the other and becomes the ectoderm, and the other becomes endoderm. Testicles and ovaries, internal organs, heart made of endoderm.
    Here we have a male with a female body and vice verse. In other words, as an example, a female embryo had merged with a male embryo and as a result, it has now 2 DNA and a male brain and a female body. This is science, this happens to 2.5-3% people.
    If children learn from an early age that this is a variation of normal, there would be less unacceptance and bullying.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh stop it, and for the record I am non-unbinary and therefore immune to opinions like yours.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Google Lydia Fairchild . “She’s Her Own Twin”. She had to fight in court to prove the children born from her body were her own.
      Nature is full of mystery. People should be concerned with what they don’t know, not what they know.
      Minister of Education should have been removed from her post for the moment she demonstrated her hatred for LGBT.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Chimera – I never realized how obvious it is about Homosexuality and the blending of XX and XY DNA. I just researched it again after many years. Explains a lot, explains why people just are who they are!
      I still do not promote same sex marriage. Civil Unions, yes.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I started thinking about that after I saw a child of one actress insisting from the very early age that she is he. I mean before that child was even 5 years old. There got to be an explanation I thought. There are twins in that family. So it is most probable that that child is a dual sex chimera because her male twin had merged with her and became her brain. So people for centures were and still are suffering needlessly, when it is so obvious they are biologically like you said a mix of XX and XY DNA.
        Lydia Fairchild’s case and of course advances in science that made DNA testing possible have changed the understanding dramatically. Not sure why it is still n issue.
        I bet if DNA of internal and external organs of that child were checked, they would have discovered that she is a a dual sex chimera.

        P.S. This also complicate DNA testing of criminals. If a suspect is cleared of crime by his DNA, but he is a chimera, he could get away with a murder.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Roper has the authority and powers to change wording and enact legislation when Ministers fail to do it themselves…where is he?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    This is Cayman is anyone surprised, Gay people aren’t people here

    Just inconvenient sacks of skin bones, water and hair
    If it were up to Caymanians same sex relationships would still likely be illegal
    We are some of the most hateful and intolerant people on Earth

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    • Anonymous says:

      I wouldn’t say all Caymanians… after all man of my Caymanian friends are for same sex marriage and many of my friends are gay Caymanians themselves. I would say the older generation and the Jamaican Caymanians are who you are referring to.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Why is Julianna O Connor still the minister for education if she condoning bullying to the LGBTI community she needs to be removed from post immediately.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because Cayman islands are still third world. Its third world people need third world leadership to survive. How would they keep living if no one feeds them? How would they get jobs if they needed skills to work? how would they be able to live in the Cayman islands without a lot of inside help?

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  17. Anonymous says:

    I grew up chanting “batty man fi ded” with my friends and fought a gay kid in high school just for being himself. I’ve since apologized.. they aren’t affecting my life in any way.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Understanding that what you did was wrong is one of the best qualities anyone could ever have. In this day and age where the gotcha agenda is rampant (just look at Trudeau and black/brown face scandal) we need to understand that people can evolve to understand how terrible something they did in the past was. Kudos!

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      • Anonymous says:

        black/brown face scandal? Give me a break. Online hysteria, not a real scandal as there is nothing to it.

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        • Anonymous says:

          So you get the posters point then.

        • Anonymous says:

          You are correct, but the poster’s point was that unlike other politicians, Trudeau admitted that what he did was wrong, and apologised. That’s very tough to do in today’s world, and I respect him for it.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Any other “civilized” country in the world, if an acting politician ever said the things this fools did, they would have been ousted already but this is Cayman where stupidity, nepotism, corruption and hatred rules the land. Cannot expect anything less from these ignorant 3rd world hacks.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Really? Soooo nothing said by Donald Trump, or Boris Johnson, or numerous leaders of France and Germany, or Rob Ford from Canada (RIP) puts them in this category? .. no one else huh… just us stupid backwater third world Caymanians. You do realise I am rushing and just gave you the ones that first came to mind, but could give it some thought and write for hours about how leaders in the ‘civilised’ countries around the world were elevated despite making completely sexist, racist, or other statements of prejudice right? …. nope… just us…. come to think of it.. where are you from?

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  19. Anonymous says:

    There is no bullying policy that will stop bullying in Cayman schools. There is not even any need to play the LGBTI card, all vulnerable children suffer.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The point isn’t that the policy will end bullying it simply shows the government is at least attempting to remedy the issue. In the same way that leaving out LGBTQ people in this policy displays the government holds no regard for their well-being in public spaces such as schools. Acknowledging the reality of schools in Cayman isn’t something that should be controversial, kids take the same virulent anti gay messaging they hear at home to school with them. The idea that acknowledging reality is “playing the LGBTI card” is ludicrous, Children are cruel and vindictive without reasoning, bullying is nothing new that doesn’t mean attempts to reduce it should be dismissed.

      I suppose you also believe there is no point having a penal code because, people will break the laws anyway right?
      No point having a speed limit because people will drive as fast as they want regardless?
      Not every rule or law is put in place because we expect it to suddenly remedy the problem, they are there to draw a line in the sand in society, they reinforce our principles.
      Should we scrap laws regarding operating vehicles while intoxicated because people get drunk and drive anyway?

      Schools are meant to be safe, and conducive for learning at the most important time in our lives, having kids terrified to go to school, who hate the thought of seeing a school bus or a school uniform because they have associated them with being ridiculed and demeaned is not something anyone in Cayman should be ok with

      Use your brains ( or at least pretend to be rational adults) its not that hard
      Fxxx sake at least come up with a better argument than “people are going to be bullied anyway so whatever’

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      • Anonymous says:

        Huh?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Producing a policy is what Cayman does very well. What it has difficulty with is implementing those policies and holding people accountable when they do not adhere to the law. In Cayman nepotism rules the waves because we are a young country, led by morans with a lot to learn.

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