As the passage for an anti-discrimination law gains more support, thus momentum, student leaders from different universities in Cebu City are scheduled to gather to launch a campaign against discriminatory policies in schools.
The Anti-Discrimination Students’ Congress (ADSC), which will be held on Saturday, October 1, is part of efforts to protect students of the LGBT, PWD, faith-based, ethnic and other disadvantaged groups against discrimination.
The congress is a joint project between the Cebu City Government and the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP) to include the youth and students in implementing the anti-discrimination ordinance of 2012. The ordinance emphasizes discrimination against people on the basis of disability, age, health status, sexual orientation and gender identity, ethnicity and religion as illegal.
“Our schools should be safe spaces against all forms of discrimination,” SCAP Visayas Coordinator Justine Balane said. “Schools shape active citizens when students are liberated and not repressed.”
Balane will be sitting as youth representative to the Anti-Discrimination Commission, the preparatory body that will implement the ordinance.
SCAP cites initial reports of discrimination in campuses where transgendered students are barred from entry in schools because of dress codes.
Reports of discriminatory policies also include providing inferior services to students on the basis of disability or health status.
The Congress will produce a paper to aid schools in adopting inclusive policies for students.
“As future leaders of the country, every student should grow in an environment where everyone is free and equal,” former Councilor Alvin Dizon, the author of Cebu City’s anti-discrimination ordinance, said.