The Order 0768 of the Superintendence of Education made a significant change in the protection of trans students in all Chilean schools. The document, produced by the Ministry of Education together with trans social organizations, was launched a year ago and recognizes some of the particular rights of trans students.
The respect of the social name in the lists, wear the corresponding uniform with their gender expression, the use of the bathroom they prefer, among other rights, were some of the things achieved with the invitation of Andrés Soffia, in charge of the Inclusion Unit and citizen participation of the Ministry of Education during the government of President Bachelet.
The production of this document took several months of conversation, in which Organizando Trans Diversidades exposed the work they did over the years, such as demand respect for the name, denounce the problems of an ID school that does not correspond with the appearance of the student, etc.
With the arrival of the sexual diversity activist to the Ministry, new paths were opened. Appealing to the right to education and recognizing the diversity of identities that children and adolescents may have, it indicates that the most important thing was to protect the dignity of the students.
“We achieved one of the most advanced sexual diversity policies internationally in the education system. There are no similar references in the world with such specific issues,” Andrés explains.
Fabián is a boy who last year was finishing high school at the Maria Auxiliadora School in Santiago, he presented the circular and had no problems to be recognized by his name, wearing the uniform and using the bathroom he wanted. Today he is preparing for college and began to process the change of legal name.
For the executive coordinator of OTD Chile, Michel Riquelme, who participated in the creation of the document, this is a great advance for the community. “It sets an important legal order, it is a support of the institutionality to the existence of trans students. It was also an aid to schools that had the will to support trans people, but since there were no documents, they often faced questions from other school authorities or representatives,” They says.
Although they regrets that it was enacted without prior training in schools,” For many schools it was as if the Government gave them the pieces without the instructions to be able to understand the issue”. Something to which the work of the Association has contributed in part through its education and training unit, OTEDUCA, a team that in different spaces helps raise awareness about gender diversity.
However, the utility of the circular is not in question. “It is the basis for any trans student who feels they do not respect their identity and gender expression to defend themselves in some way,” explains the coordinator.
The organization receives training requests on a daily basis, and although it is their wish to reach all spaces, it is impossible. Given this, the recommendation is to do a job directly with the affected person, present the circular and mainly listen to what their needs are.” It is not necessary to be an expert in the subject to learn to respect a trans person. It’s simply a matter of listening to what the trans student needs and trying to help solve it”, they explains.