Now Reading
Polish students defy ban on LGBTI events, turn up to school in rainbows

Polish students defy ban on LGBTI events, turn up to school in rainbows

a group of teenagers stand outside in different rainbow colours

The Polish government will continue its investigation of schools to ensure they are sticking to a ban on LGBTI events.

Last week the government banned the annual Rainbow Friday event. Rainbow Friday is a day dedicated to raising awareness about LGBTI rights in schools in Poland.

It has run for the past three years and schools are invited to participate in it. LGBT organisations provide information materials to schools that they are free to share with students and they also organize events and conversations in the schools.

But thanks to a media storm in right-wing media ahead of this year’s Rainbow Friday the Minister of National Education, Anna Zalewska declared any schools participating in the day would breaking education laws. She also said schools would be subject to inspection and even visited some schools herself to ensure they cancelled Rainbow Friday.

Zalewska’s decree forced schools to punish students and teachers for trying to go ahead with the day.

Rainbow Friday

Over the weekend, the Ministry of Education tweeted that the inspections will continue on Monday.

LGBTI organizations labelled the ban as a sign that government was trying to crackdown on the LGBTI community.

‘This points to the fact that this was not a one-off media storm, but a premeditated, ongoing attack on awareness raising about LGBT people and autonomy of schools in Poland,’ a spokesperson for ILGA Europe (International Lesbian and Gay Association).

‘This is yet another level of an attack on the rule of law in the country.’

But in some good news, local LGBTI organization Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH) reported that some schools went ahead with Rainbow Friday despite the ban.

Students posted photos of themselves dressed in rainbow colors and of the decorations they put up in their schools under the social media hashtag #teczowypiatek (Rainbow Friday).

More from Gay Star News

Shocking video shows homophobes destroying LGBTI stand at street fair in Poland

Poland’s defence minister calls LGBTI parade a ‘march of sodomites’

Is homophobic Poland about to get its first openly gay president?