It’s been reported that a 14-year-old student, who identifies as a lesbian, has missed school for weeks and fears for her safety after she was bullied because of her sexuality.
According to a report by The Herald, the school pupil of Pearson High School has been too terrified to return to classes and has had to approach the courts for a protection order in a bid for the harassment at her school to end.
The teen has reported being the subject of rumour mongering. She’s feared using the school’s bathrooms, and was told that some schoolmates had warned other pupils to not associate with her as they were at risk of being ‘raped’ by her because she is lesbian.
When she cut her hair as a donation to cancer survivors, she was struck with rumours that she is a transgender boy.
The Eastern Cape Department of Education has offered the young girl counselling after her mother reported the abuse, but they have been unable to stop the bullying.
A protection order was granted after the family approached the Port Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court.
According to the report, the school was also instructed to allow the pupil to changes classes. However, once again, they have reported that the harassment still has not ended.
According to a 2016 Love Not Hate report, 56% of LGBT South Africans surveyed said they’d experienced discrimination based on their sexuality of gender identity while attending school.
With the school pupil not having attended classes since Thursday April 4, the child’s academic results have plundered.
The teen has accused the school of not doing anything to protect her from the discrimination.
“I am terrified of going back. I am scared someone will hurt me because I am a lesbian,” she told The Herald.
“I become anxious just thinking about school.” She added that she was sharing her story in order to help “protect other people”.