When a trans student in Japan asked her teacher to be included on a girls’ school trip – she was assigned male at birth – her teacher told her classmates. Then their parents complained about the student.
This story is an example of the growing rate of Japanese teachers outing their LGBTI students to their parents and peers.The numbers of LGBTI students reporting they have been outed by their teachers in on the rise. That’s according to Tokyo’s Kyosei Net or All Japan Sexual Minorities Support Network an LGBTI not-for-profit.
Minako ‘Minata’ Hara is the representative director of Kyosei Net and recently worked with a student whose teacher outed them. Hara told Japan Times there is not enough guidance for teachers on how to work with LGBTI students. Teachers believe telling their parents is the right thing to do.
‘Although the LGBT student only consulted with the teacher in charge, the parents found out immediately,’ Hara said.
‘Most of the teachers are just acting because they want people around them to be aware. But since they lack a common understanding, they are often just playing it by ear.’
No teacher protection from bullying
Nearly 70% of the Takarazuka University School of Nursing in Osaka survey respondents said their teacher did nothing to help them.
An elementary school teacher told the Japan Times that teachers need more training around these issues.
‘There is still a huge awareness gap among teachers. The issue on how to deal with this is close at hand. We have to firmly grasp the knowledge and have support measures in place,’ the teacher said.
What come MEXT
Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) has started institutin changes.
In 2015 MEXT sent a directive to all school boards with several accommodations schools should make for transgender students.
Earlier this year it added LGBTI-specific protections in its national bullying prevention policy.