LGBTQIA+ Guidelines

These guidelines are supposed to contribute to protecting students against discrimination specifically with regard to their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, as mandated by the Schulgesetz and the Landesantidiskriminierungsgesetz. The guidelines therefore focus on the students' right to self-determination with regard to these characteristics. The guidelines are intended to provide teachers with guidance on how to help ensure that people with different sexual orientations and gender identities can feel comfortable and welcome at Nelson-Mandela-School at all times.

Support: If members of the school community need support with questions about gender identity, they can speak to Kai Linke at secondary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or to Lex Kartanė at primary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and externally to Queer Leben (professional counselling: https://queer-leben.de/english/) or Lambda (peer counselling: https://www.lambda-bb.de/beratung/). If they need support with questions about sexual identity, they can speak to Christopher Langhans at secondary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or to Dino Antunovic and Tanya Mokdad at primary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and externally to Lesben- or Schwulenberatung (professional counselling: https://lesbenberatung-berlin.de/Beratung.html; http://www.sbberlin.info/post.php?permalink=erstberatung) or to Lambda (peer counselling: https://www.lambda-bb.de/beratung/).

First name and gender: If students use a first name and/or gender that differ(s) from those registered in their ID card, they (or their legal guardians) can get in touch with Dino Antunovic or Lex Kartane at primary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or with Christopher Langhans or Kai Linke at secondary (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We advise the students and inform all relevant parties at school about the name and/or gender change. Since the information about names and gender will not always be current on class lists and WebUntis, it is helpful if teachers find age-appropriate ways to ascertain the students’ current names and pronouns at the start of the school year or when they first meet them. They should then use the current names and pronouns within the school community in accordance with the students’ wishes.

Confidentiality: Students generally decide for themselves whether and how the people in their environment are informed about a coming out. If students explicitly state that they do not want their legal guardians to be informed about name and pronoun changes within the school community or about same-sex relationships, teachers and educators are not legally obligated to share this information with legal guardians. However, as a school we cannot guarantee confidentiality about names and pronouns that are commonly used within the school.

Forms: All school documents where gender has to be entered offer all four official options in Germany (m/f/d/o: male/female/diverse/no entry) and they can be entered accordingly.

Representation in the classroom: Whenever gender and sexual development is addressed, inter, trans, and non-binary gender identities, homo-, bi-, pansexuality, and other queer sexual identities should be treated as equal variants to cis identities and heterosexuality. This is particularly relevant for crossdisciplinary sex education and social learning. In the social sciences, the historical and current manifestations of cis_hetero_sexist oppression of LGBTQIA+ people and their struggles for emancipation should be addressed where possible. In the languages and the arts, works by LGBTQIA+ people should be covered, and LGBTQIA+ people should generally be adequately represented in class materials. In the languages, moreover, linguistic issues of gender equity should be addressed for the respective language. In the sciences and in mathematics, the contributions of LGBTQIA+ scientists can be named as such. In all of this, care should be taken not to portray individual religions, worldviews, or cultures as inherently more cis_hetero_sexist than others. At the same time,care should also be taken to ensure that teaching materials reflect the actual diversity of LGBTQIA+ people in terms of other characteristics such as ethnicity, religion, world view, disability, chronic illness, age, language, and social status. 

Physical Education (Primary): 

In Lesson
In Primary sports lessons groups and internal sport competitions there is no need to separate groups based on gender. Grouping and making teams based on gender should be avoided. For students entering puberty consider the appropriateness of contact sports. 

Changing Rooms
Students should feel comfortable changing in the rooms that they feel best represents their self-affirmed gender identity.  For students that do not feel comfortable changing in shared facilities, on request a private changing room should be offered. This also applies to swimming lessons.

In the case of sport teams traveling to sport venues, competitions, outside of the school, contact needs to be made in advance to ensure there are appropriate changing facilities available for students and their self-affirmed gender identity.  

PE Kit
Gender neutral tracksuits, t-shirts, shorts, and sport shoes should be worn during participation. Students participating in swimming should wear swimming specific clothing. 

Physical Education (Secondary): If needed, all students can discuss with their physical education teacher how their changing needs can be accommodated based on the locker rooms available. Furthermore, PE groups should not be divided up by gender. All students can change groups at any time if needed. Where students have to be assessed based on gender, the grading chart recommended for the gender listed on the ID card will normally be used. Once students have changed their first name and/or gender for internal school use, the student's preferred chart can also be used. 

Grouping students by gender: Grouping students by gender should generally be avoided, as this often reinforces gender stereotypes. If sorting students into girl and boy groups cannot be avoided, inter, trans, and non-binary students should be asked in advance which group they want to be assigned to. Alternatively, a third group can be offered for all students who would like to work in a mixed-gender group.

Bathrooms: Each building at NMS has at least one gender neutral bathroom. Inter students may use the gender-segregated bathrooms in which they feel most comfortable at any time. Trans and non-binary students may do so once they have changed their first name and/or gender for internal school use. (We still need a gender neutral bathroom for students at Primary.)

Class trips: Inter, trans, and non-binary students should be asked in advance with whom they would like to share a room and whether they need a lockable single shower and/or a gender-neutral toilet. If it is theoretically possible that a pregnancy could occur in the desired room constellation, the consent of the legal guardians of all students involved should be obtained before the class trip for students under 16. If Inter, trans, and non-binary students need a mixed gender dorm, a lockable single shower, and/or a gender-neutral toilet, its availability must be confirmed in advance with the accommodation and, if necessary, a more inclusive accommodation must be sought. If a single room is available in the accommodation, this can be offered to inter, trans, and/or non-binary students, but they must not be forced to stay in a single room against their will.

Slurs: Slurs that are offensive to LGBTQIA+ people as well as the use of the word "gay" as a slur will not be tolerated at NMS, and this prohibition will be enforced by the teachers wherever possible.

References:
Rahmenlehrplan Teil B: Fachübergreifende Komptenzentwicklung
Berliner Landes-Antidiskriminierungsgesetz
Schlau NRW: Trans* und Schule: Infobroschüre für die Begleitung von trans* Jugendlichen im Kontext Schule in NRW
The guidelines are here.


NMS Recommends: A Rainbow of Books
Want to read more good books with queer characters? Or with characters of color? How about queer characters of color? Jewish working class characters? Feminist characters with disabilities? Would you know where to look if you wanted to find the books you’re interested in? 

Check out this list of books that feature at least one perspective that is often marginalized in society and in publishing and that at least one person from the NMS community enjoyed reading. It not only includes books from many different perspectives, but also books of different genres, from different geographic locations, in different languages (so far only English and German, though), and for readers of different ages. You can even borrow some of these books from one of our school libraries! The list is searchable via the search function in Google docs, and, as a bonus feature, the document also includes an #OwnVoices-list of books specifically by Black authors that the librarians at the Primary compiled for Black History Month.

Kai Linke
NMS teacher


01.07.2022 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin