In OTD Chile we contact with teacher Alba Alonso Feijoo after a seeing an announcement about about her job. We were interest in thinking about how we can afront school bullying, thinking especially in the transgende kids in this schoolar year.
Their job on Realkiddys web describe this as a project“ who wants to promote the gener equality and each boy and girl can be unique”. We asked about how we can afront bullying and what to do as adults to give them the permission to grow up and be free, happy and authentic.
– According to your experience When do the the gender judgments begins to become evident during childhood and how can we help them for this not to happen?
In the infant schools we can look and analyze a kind of certain judgments about the gender. It’s a stage of life in that even though it sounds incredible that boys had their identity very clear and how they dress play and act according to the indetity.
The identity is something that is not teach and it’s not decide, it’s is something that you born with (totally indepedently of the genitals they have), but the expression of gender is something that,in a conscious way or not, we teach our little babies when they come this world. We tell them the colors correspond according to them, the games they can play, which kind of clothes they can use, if they can be a little bit active…, I mean they are many messages that they recieved in their family. But also with the friendships,schools,books they read and cartoons they see on television, publicity, etc
Ending with this stereotyped world and marked since childhood it’s not an easy work to deal with, but not impossible. They key is by doing it with a team, that means, family and school in the same line and not sending contradictory messages is fundamental.
A lot of times we will find out that despite of teaching in the same and with no stereotypes of gender, our children are still absorbing a lot of ideas from the mass media, publicity, group class. In this cases our job is based on having a lot of attention to any idea, comentary and judgement they are recieving and talk about it.
To ban ( only in a obvious case and necessary) it’s not the right way. If they want to see a specific series is very interesting seeing with them and talk about about the roles, the stereotypes and many other things. The same when they choose a book of the library or they want to see a certain movie at the cinema. What we do with that content es that they will keep in their minds. A debate, always according to their age, about the movie that scare us can teach them more than ban them to see and aprreciate.
The schoolbullying or bullying, is something that most of us eperienced during certain stage of our lives, but what happened this is also with gender bullying? Do you think it needs an a special treatment in respect to other kinds of bullying?
The suffer of any kind of harrashment is horrible but in the case of gender bullying you can take certain measures a little bit different in respect to other kind of harrashment. We need to think that even though we have terrible news that we recieved in terms of harrashmentsthere are also a lot of places where there’s no cases and it’s without a doubt the best moment and time to work on harrashment, before. The prevention is the best way to fight against him. We can’t wait that a childen suffers to give formation about the world. All the educative centres need formation, even if they are transecual boys and girls or an kind of sexual diversity or gender in our schools and also is a continous lesson because I personally since I Have been starting this campaign of the publish of the book “Carla no es Carla, sino Carlos” i do not stop learning about the reality of trans people, for instance.
The genderbullying is a concept your friends know about? Is there any professional nocion on how you can treat it?
The genderbullying is the kind of bullying, that is more frequent right now. This bullying gathers the harrashment of boys and girls and also teenagers in function of expression of gender, their sexual orientation, identity or even biology (like the case of intersexuality).
The best moment to treat this is now in any kind of class. The only thing you need to do is to adapt this learning according to the age of the children and to do this we need to encourage and promote diversity like the real richness of humanity. When we can understand this it will be much more easier erradicate the harrashment.
For instance, if we reffered of the infant education (3-6 in Spain) a wonderful way of promoting diversity is doing literature especially for children and this is the reason why I just released the publication of the book “Carla no es Carla, sino Carlos” through the platform Ulule. From here I invite you to contribute in the campaign for the publication of this book about a transexual boy can have the success it truly needs.
Another idea that is working right now in my educative centre ( I’m a teacher at the CEIP Mestre Martinez Alonso in Mos (Spain) is the mediation. Through a club of mediation in where the main characters are the main students , where they work in concepts like empathy, tolerance and diversity. As soon I start this job we will end with the gender harrashment and any kind of.
Which kind of reccomendation would you give to the school community to help the children who is harrased and the harrasing boy or girl?
The first and most important thing is to listen to our little boy or girl. A lot of times we are not paying the attention and we’re not listening. Maybe not always by communicating verbally, there can be signs of lack of sleep, hungry, tiredness, irrability and more things that indicate is that it might be a problem with harrashment.
The next thing is to not judge and give them company. Our kids need more company and we need to trust in them in what they have been through, even though if it’s about de harrasing it needs company. A children who is happy, it’s not a stalker or harassing. It’s not about that we can’t be justified but we need to investigate in the cause of this behaviour.
The third step is to make the school part of this, in the case they don’t have news about this harrashment and to begin with the existing protocols, gathered with information and proofs, intensive follow of victim and harrasing.
A lot of people do not pay attention and importance to the harrashment because they say it’s just a kids stuff, nothing to take care of. We can’t allow that any boy or girl suffers by being ignored. Everyone and each one of our kids need to be heard in their own words. Once we confirmed and we can validate their speech we need to make sure about what’s really happening step by step and the fastest way possible to end with this suffer.
From my equality project of gender Realkiddys tried to share precisely tips for mothers, fathers and teachers, about how we can fight with stereotypes of gender.
Translated by: Pedro Contreras and Sebastian Serrano.