Thursday 26 April 2018

School guidance counsellors come out in favour of Yes vote

School guidance counsellors come out in favour of Yes vote
School guidance counsellors come out in favour of Yes vote
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Guidance counsellors have come out in favour of a Yes vote in the Marriage Equality referendum,

The Institute of Guidance Counsellors (IGC), which has members working in schools, third level and further education colleges, said it was backing  the change in the interests of treating everyone in society equally.

IGC president Betty McLaughlin said their members supported students in all aspects of their lives which included coming to terms with their own personal identity and issues regarding their own sexuality.

“This can be a traumatic and challenging period for some students who are questioning such an integral part of their being. Indeed, this period of questioning and uncertainty can also see the student struggling with additional burdens such as victimisation, bullying and social exclusion”, she said

Ms McLaughlin said they were delighted to  join other social justice and equality groups such as , the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, ( ISPCC), the National Youth Council of Ireland and ‘Belong To,’ in  supporting  the change to the constitution.

She referred to research done by Trinity College Dublin, which showed that 58pc  of LGBT young people had endured homophobic abuse, 25pc had been threatened with physical violence, 34pc had heard homophobic comments from their teachers,  50pc had  thought about ending their lives and 20pc had attempted to do so.

“The Institute of Guidance Counsellors believes that our support for the Marriage Equality referendum can, in future years help with fostering a more equal Ireland where all people are held in unconditional positive regard, irrespective of their sexuality.

“We would hope that support given by the IGC and similar organisations along with a YES vote in the Referendum will lead to an Ireland where all children are cherished equally by society and the state, thus ensuring that no child is subject to bullying or victimisation of any sort based on their sexuality”, she said.

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