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Training within the SAFER project

The second part of the training under the multi-annual project SAFER (Schools Act For Equal Rights), organized by the Ljubljana Pride Association in cooperation with six partner organizations from Finland, Estonia and Slovenia, took place in Brežice from 5-9 November 2019 with Peace Education Institute (Finland), Kokkola Education Department (Finland), Mondo (Estonia’s Global Learning Organization), Noored Kooli (Estonia), Tammsalu Gümnasium (Estonia Secondary School) and Nove Fužine Primary School.

The purpose of the project is to equip teachers, teaching staff and other school staff who regularly work with youth groups with tools to identify, address and transform hate speech, peer violence and other exclusionary practices in the school environment. It focuses on the transformation of schools into safer spaces for students and teachers and other educators, who offer people from marginalized groups and vulnerable young people the opportunity to express themselves, participate and belong without fear of being excluded, harassed or subjected to any other form of discrimination. and violence.

As part of the project, participants learn more about how power relations, privileges, and prejudices affect educational systems, structures, and traditions. In a safer space, they are allowed to step out of the comfort zone into a learning path where, through self-reflection and insight into broader system structures, they critically evaluate their work. In this context, learning often means having to rethink our attitudes, patterns and actions, and learn from those that are problematic. Sometimes because of our own unreflected privileges, we mistakenly think that safety and equality are already present in society and in schools. What is not true of minority and marginalized identities is far from reality. But it is even harder to admit that we ourselves are part of problematic systems and structures that support discriminatory practices and oppression.

Through training, participants are given the opportunity to reflect, share experiences and discuss with colleagues on topics such as hate speech, violence, racism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination that are present in the communities they come from. The participants need time and space to reflect and analyze how social relations of power manifest themselves in their schools and school environments, what their role is in this, and how they can comprehensively address these topics in their work and in their community.

The aim of the project is to find new models for the transformation of school spaces into safer spaces, taking into account examples of both good and bad practices. Examples of practices, tools and methods that will be collected throughout the project with the help of all involved people will be presented in the form of an online course, a manual, a model of good practice and the transformation of a school environment into a safer space.

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