The Trouble With Lesbians In Schools
The Gleaner carried a story today which alleges rampant homosexual conduct at a local corporate area all girls school. The newspaper claims that in many cases younger students are forced into performing sexual acts on or with older students. According to the school’s administration, the situation is so severe that an emergency meeting was called with parents to address the “behavioural” issues. This predator-like perception of lesbians worries me, especially in a country already grossly homophobic. Could the actions of these supposed lesbians result in further marginalisation of homosexuals in Jamaica? I think so.
Ever since I was a child, I was always warned against accepting favours or gifts from strange men. My father’s argument was firmly rooted in the assumption that homosexual men preyed on children and if I accepted gifts from strangers, I was likely to be kidnapped and sodomized. The idea that homosexuals are sexually depraved monsters is not new. In fact, an evangelical christian group in the United States has repeatedly classified homosexuals as “depraved paedophiles intent on damaging the innocence of our children.” Whether or not this is true is besides the point, I simply want to establish that this perception exists and any suggestion that it is based in fact is dangerous to the campaign of homosexuals to be seen as normal, in so far as that is possible, members of the Jamaican society.
Now we find ourselves confronted with what appears to be an outbreak of the lesbian girls preying on younger, perhaps innocent, students. I am being told this is nothing new, much to my surprise. What these girls are doing will only inflame and anger homophobic sentiments in Jamaica. I have similar feelings about homosexual men who aggressively display their sexual preferences in public. It is unwise to force one’s sexuality in the face of those so strongly opposed to it. As an example, here is a reader’s comment on the article : “These young girls are being introduced into this lifestyle. I am also willing to bet that these fifth formers were also taught this behaviour by OLDER lesbians who have been preying on them for years! Yet JFLAG has the nerve to say homosexuals are the victims!” Already we see the suggestion that homosexuals are not the victims of the abuse, but the perpetrators. Christian groups and other institutions against LGBT rights will use this as a weapon in their crusade against homosexuals.
Still, make no mistake, the actions of the older students are reckless, inappropriate and irresponsible. If the school administration can identify them, I would urge swift action and expulsion and then I’d advocate for criminal charges to be laid, where it can be proven that they have molested or sexually assaulted young girls. While no one, certainly not me, would deny these alleged lesbian students their free sexual expression, it has no place in school; and let me hasten to add I do not make an exception for heterosexual students. Sexual activity in schools is unacceptable, across the sexuality spectrum. Whether you be heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Every child who attends school has the right to feel safe and free of harassment, let alone sexual harassment.
I find the idea that there is a recruitment of younger students abhorrent. A child must never have sexuality forced on him or her, be it heterosexuality or homosexuality. These girls should allow the younger students to properly mature and make their own choices, free from intimidation and force. In the same way we would condemn an older male student forcing himself on a young female student, we must do the same here. If these allegations are true, then we must move to protect our children, and reform those who would seek to prey on them. The older girls must find those who share their preference and not seek to force it on those who are impressionable. I admit that I am not as concerned with the fifth form students engaging in the activity, provided it is not happening at school.
Parents must also be held to account. They must ensure that they are involved in the lives of their children, and seek help for them when they exhibit antisocial or unacceptable behaviours, especially how their children use ICT, since so much sexual content is being transmitted through these mediums. Jamaica as a whole also needs to apply the same level of scrutiny to lesbian conduct as it would to gay conduct, if you will. If this happens, I am confident that these students would not be so bold and brazen as to prey on their younger schoolmates. If the allegations made in this article is true, we must move swiftly to correct what is a very serious problem, for the sake of the gay community and for the sake of our innocent children.