13 January 2014
Woman faces escalating hostile behaviour at school, support group says
Despite a recommendation from the country’s ombudsman that the woman’s gender identity be treated with respect while attending Athens 2nd upper high night school, she continues to be subjected to ‘escalating hostile, racist and transphobic behaviour’
The case of a transgender student who has complained of discriminatory treatment and physical and verbal abuse at her night school since 2012 has been raised in parliament.
According to a report by the Greek Transgendered Support Association, the “trans student has been exposed to racist behaviour on the part of the school management”, despite a recommendation from the country’s ombudsman that the woman’s gender identity be treated with respect while attending Athens 2nd upper high night school.
The association says the student – whose identity papers says she is a man – “still faces discriminatory behaviour because of her gender identity, and is a subject of “escalating hostile, racist and transphobic behaviour”.
Furthermore, she has been called to the director’s office to “apologise” without being told about the nature of her supposedly “misconduct”, the association says.
When she enrolled in the evening school in 2012, the student, then aged 25, was subjected to intense verbal and physical abuse, according to the association.
“The headmaster took every chance to create a climate of intimidation and exclusion, used derogatory expressions, unleashed indirect threats, repeatedly suspended her, went as far as using physical violence against her with the result that a strong climate of confrontation was created in the school community.”
“All of the above created the conditions for a group of children to target her with ridicule, abuse and threats but also with extreme physical abuse, putting in danger her physical well-being (physical violence and throwing of objects like stones, bottles, she was doused with flammable material trying to burn her and more),” the association said in a statement in December 2012.
The association also points out that the only teacher who supported the student was suspended, after a sworn administrative inquiry found that she had not followed the code of ethics and objectivity procedures.
In a written reply to Syriza MP Christos Karagiannidis, the justice minister, Haralambos Athanassiou, said that as the student has taken legal action, he is precluded from interfering in the case.