Most LGBTI people in Japan were bullied in school and many more were not protected by their teachers.
A survey by the Takarazuka University School of Nursing in Osaka showed more than 50% of LGBTI people were bullied at school.
Nearly 70% of survey respondents said their teacher did nothing to help them.
Professor of Social Epidemiology, Yasuharu Hidaka, lead the study which revealed teachers had not been trained in how to support LGBTI students.
15,000 people completed the only survey which found 58% of people had been bullied during all levels of schooling. them replied that they had suffered bullying while in elementary, junior high and high school.
Many respondents said there was no education about LGBTI issues and a number had reported self-harming when younger. 21% said they had refused to go to school at some points in their lives.
‘There is surely a higher proportion of those from sexual minorities among victims of bullying and truant pupils and students,’ Professor Hidaka told The Mainichi.
‘I want schools to take action to protect children in distress.’
What happened MEXT
The results come just days after Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) added LGBTI-specific protections in its national bullying prevention policy.
‘In order to prevent bullying toward students based on their gender identity…or sexual orientation/gender identity, schools should promote proper understanding of teachers on…sexual orientation/gender identity as well as make sure to inform on the school’s necessary measures regarding this matter,’ the draft policy reads.
The policy will be finalised by the end of March and follows a number of MEXT initiatives to protect LGBTI students.
In 2015 MEXT sent a directive to all school boards with several accommodations schools should make for transgender students.
It then released the ‘Guidebook for Teachers Regarding Careful Response to Students related to Gender Identity Disorder as well as Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’ in 2016.