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Tolerance of different opinions, ethnicities, non-binary genders and sexualities is thankfully widespread in the NMS school community. However, in my opinion the German curriculum does not emphasise different family models and sexualities in primary school enough and heteronormativity is still widespread in our society.

This is why I decided to organise and lead a small workshop in April 2016 for a year 6 class in which I covered non-western concepts of families, the degrees of global acceptance of homosexuality, discrimination against different sexualities (for example using “gay” as an insult) and also historical perspectives regarding homosexuality and non-heterosexual sexual orientations.

Although many students still lacked some knowledge regarding these topics, their readiness to engage with these issues struck me and I was very pleased about their openness. For me, leading this workshop confirmed that tolerance and acceptance, not prejudice and discrimination, are innate human qualities. Or, as our school’s namesake so eloquently put it: “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Emma Teworte, IB12, 2016

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20.04.2018 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin