AT least 10 students have been suspended from a secondary school in Valencia, following a homophobic attack on a teacher.
Dozens of students are understood to have hurled objects and abuse at the man, according to sources from a teaching union which informed À Punt television.
The events, which are still being investigated and could lead to further suspensions and other punishments, took place last week in the playground of the IES Les Alfàbegues in Bétera, north-west of Valencia.
According to À Punt, on Wednesday 16 February, two female students came outside waving an LGTBI flag, creating an impromptu demonstration in the playground, until teachers asked them to stop.
As a result, the following day other students brought Spanish flags to school and organised a similar event to the previous day, which is when the attack on the teacher occurred, with comments about his sexual orientation.
The education department has not commented on the events, due to “data protection”, nor has it given any information related to the incident or the punishments imposed. However, it was reported that the PREVIO plan, which offers free assessment and judicial help to teachers, has been activated in a secondary school in the Camp de Turia área.
Also the UEO, a specialist unit in counseling, has been deployed from Valencia. The unit is the reference in the area of equality and diversity, and its aim is to carry out “appropriate awareness-raising actions” at the school. All of this is being done under the guidance of the inspection department of the education ministry.
Support from teaching unions
On its website, Valencian teachers’ union STEPV posted a large LGTBI flag with a statement condemning the attack at the IES Les Alfàbegues. They expressed “resounding rejection of the serious LGTBI-phobic aggression of a teacher by a large group of sudents.”
The statement continued: “Luckily events like these are not common in our schools, but unfortunately, it’s no coincidence that such a serious act of aggression has occurred in a political context like the current one, with the rise of certain ideology that encourages such behaviour and does not respect anything different from the standard.”
The Platform for the Defense of Public Education, made up of different teaching unions from Valencia, parents’ association and other educational groups, met on Thursday evening to address last week’s aggression in Bétera. Among other action, the platform has convened a rally in Bétera for next Wednesday, 2 March, at 18:30h.