The Safe House 2009 Explained & more



In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless men in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project and the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Education Minister says he has been harrassed post the HFLE Manual withdrawal

It is difficult to confirm this one clearly but since the Minister of Education's dithering on the Home and Family Life, HFLE curriculum matter that had contained therein some questions that were deemed objectionable and maybe inappropriate for the age cohort intended, grades 7 - 9, so we can surmise 12 to 14 year olds depending on what age they successfully attained GSAT results etc. Erica Virtue of the Gleaner says the paper has confirmed from the horses mouth that he has been fact been receiving inappropriate emails and other correspondences on the matter.


The Minister on his feet in parliament justifying the withdrawal of the manual in October 2012.

In two previous posts (see linked below) while I have been disappointed and very critical of the minister's decision to seemingly capitulate to the religious right as he himself is a man of the cloth due to the questions that explore homosexuality, anal sex, HIV testing and disclosure and a problematic guided imagery exercise that asks the students in a controlled setting I might add (as I understand it) to imagine themselves gay and everyone else straight or hetersexual and the associated stigmas the student may feel in the reverse roles. 

Urgent need to discuss Sex & sexuality nationally part 1


Urgent need to discuss Sex & sexuality nationally part 2







In the absence of an 2012 online copy of the manual here are some of the questions as carried on TVJ when the story broke in November, the hard copies have been pulled from the trained teachers' hands. (no copyright infringement intended) Here is the 2009 version in case:



DOWNLOAD HERE
Here is the article by Miss Virtue:


Lifestyle Text Withdrawal Backlash - Calls And Letters, Attack Ministry, Minister


Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer

Jamaica's Education Ministry is taking a beating from local and international rights groups who are upset that it pulled the controversial health and family life education (HFLE) text issued to grades 7-9 students.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites last week confirmed the attacks, but opted not to disclose the names of the groups and individuals leading them.

"We have been inundated by calls and letters because of the position the ministry took. Up to today (Wednesday), I received a broadside from a group of gay, lesbian and transsexual people in New Jersey in the United States, who wanted to know why I was in favour of hate crimes," Thwaites told The Sunday Gleaner.

According to Thwaites, the New Jersey group wanted to know when he could report to it the full information on non-discriminatory material available to all students in Jamaica.

"It has been surprising to me, because our position is that, in principle we support the instruction of children towards healthy, faithful heterosexual relations, with tolerance and with understanding and non-discrimination towards others who adopt a different and alternative lifestyle," the minister said.

According to Thwaites, the position taken by the ministry was consistent with the position taken by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller.

"But, apparently, there are many of those who want something much more than that and who feel that we must instruct children in all aspects of sexuality; homosexuality, heterosexuality at the earliest stages, without any caution or restraint, and we reject that," he said.

In September, the education ministry pulled the text after a parent pointed out the controversial content. Angry parents at the time demanded to know who approved the text even after it was withdrawn.

Approval questioned

The firestorm was ignited when it was discovered that the text, among other things, required grades seven to nine students to give responses to questions on their involvement in homosexual and heterosexual activity. Some stakeholders including parents and teachers questioned the process by which the Ministry of Education approved its teaching guides.

Thwaites accepted that officials at the ministry did not offer the rigid scrutiny the text should have undergone before it was signed off.

"We blinked," he admitted.

Faced with questions in Parliament from the opposition spokesperson on education, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, Thwaites argued that, "no minister of education of whatever political stripe would have knowingly allowed material as obnoxious as that contained in the HFLE curriculum to have been published, and it does appear that there were previous instances, and there were warnings, and it was a clear intention of some who have very clear predispositions regarding sexual conduct ... who got away on this one."

- erica.virtue@gleanerjm.com


ENDS

While I am strongly in support of some sort of sex and sexuality intervention at the high school level as I like others feel that the very reason we have so much homo-negativity and homophobia and patriarchal related challenges in society is because we have been taught reproductive health more so than S & S with a tolerant infused message. If this report by Miss Virtue is to be believed I cautiously used "harassment" in the eyes of the Minister is NOT my idea of engaging the official and to be fair to him he has met with JFLAG and other stakeholders prior to this uproar about the manual, he was present at the IDAHO conference in May where the J and other civil society groups were in attendance.





Yes we also appreciate the interventions (if you will) supporters overseas but they must be guided by the advocates on the ground, lest we forget in 2009 the Red Stripe Boycott in San Francisco and the attempted tourism boycott in Canada by what seemed to be over-exuberant friends without proper consultations and strategies, these high handed moves only serve to make the struggle extended or problematic as persons already resist the notion that Jamaica is one of the most homophobic places on earth (truth or not) thus the backlash at times towards homosexuality is actually the affront persons feel being supposedly castigated as homophobes. 

Just a word to the wise.

Peace and tolerance

H

0 comments:

Other Entries you can check out

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.

Popular Posts

RJR - Surprise Yes vote by Ja on Sexual Orientation Removal from Summary Executions Resolution

Beyond the Headlines host Dionne Jackson Miller has Arlene Harrison Henry and Maurice Tonlinson on Human RIghts Day 2012 on the the removal of language in the form of sexual orientation on the Summary Executions UN Resolution - On November 21, 2012, Jamaica voted[1] against resolution A/C.3/67/L.36 at the United Nations condemning extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions which urges States “to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including… all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation

Homeless MSM evicted from Cargill Avenue (evening edition)



28/08/12 CVM TV again rebroadcast a story of homeless MSM and the deplorable living conditions coupled with the almost sensationalistic narrative of the alleged commercial sex work the men are involved in. Gay Jamaica Watch has been following this issue since 2009 when the older populations of MSMs who were for the most part displaced due to forced evictions and homo negative issues and their re-displacement by agencies who on the face of it refused to put in place any serious social interventions to assist the men to recovery CLICK HERE for the CLIP

Information, Disclaimer and more

Not all views expressed are those of GJW

This blog contains pictures and images that may be disturbing. As we seek to highlight the plight of victims of homophobic violence here in Jamaica, the purpose of the pics is to show physical evidence of claims of said violence over the years and to bring a voice of the same victims to the world.

Many recover over time, at pains, as relocation and hiding are options in that process. Please view with care or use theHappenings section to select other posts of a different nature.


Not all persons depicted in photos are gay or lesbian and it is not intended to portray them as such, save and except for the relevance of the particular post under which they appear.

Please use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

God Bless


Other Blogs I write to:
http://glbtqjamaica.blogspot.com/
http://glbtqja.wordpress.com
Recent Homophobic Incidents CLICK HERE for related posts/labels from glbtqjamaica's blog & HERE for those I am aware of.

contact:
lgbtevent@gmail.com

Steps to take when confronted by the police & your rights compromised:

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tense

d) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violated

i) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions


j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it
glbtqjamaica@live.com

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues

If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -
If one is locked up then the following may apply:

Locked up over a weekend - Arrested pursuant to being charged or detained There must be reasonable suspicion i.e. about to commit a crime, committing a crime or have committed a crime. There are two standards that must be met:
1). Subjective standard: what the officer(s) believed to have happened

2). Objective standard: proper and diligent collection of evidence that implicates the accused To remove or restrain a citizen’s liberty it cannot be done on mere suspicion and must have the above two standards

 Police officers can offer bail with exceptions for murder, treason and alleged gun offences, under the Justice of the Peace Act a JP can also come to the police station and bail a person, this provision as incorporated into the bail act in the late nineties

 Once a citizen is arrested bail must be considered within twelve hours of entering the station – the agents of the state must give consideration as to whether or not the circumstances of the case requires that bail be given

 The accused can ask that a Justice of the Peace be brought to the station any time of the day. By virtue of taking the office excluding health and age they are obliged to assist in securing bail

"Bail is not a matter for daylight"

Locked up and appearing in court:
 Bail is offered at the courts office provided it was extended by the court; it is the court that has the jurisdiction over the police with persons in custody is concerned.

 Bail can still be offered if you were arrested and charged without being taken to court a JP can still intervene and assist with the bail process.

Other Points of Interest:
 The accused has a right to know of the exact allegation

 The detainee could protect himself, he must be careful not to be exposed to any potential witness

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

 If over a long period without charge a writ of habeas corpus however be careful of the police doing last minute charges so as to avoid an error

 Every instance that a matter is brought before the court and bail was refused before the accused can apply for bail as it is set out in the bail act as every court appearance is a chance to ask for bail

 Each case is determined by its own merit – questions to be considered for bail:

a) Is the accused a flight risk?
b) Are there any other charges that the police may place against the accused?
c) Is the accused likely to interfere with any witnesses?
d) What is the strength of the crown’s/prosecution’s case?


 Poor performing judges can be dealt with at the Judicial Review Court level or a letter to the Chief Justice can start the process


Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

What Human Rights .............

What are Human Rights?

By definition human rights are our inalienable fundamental rights. Inalienable means that which cannot be taken away. So our human rights are bestowed upon us from the moment we are born and, thus we are all entitled to these rights. Because we are entitled to our human rights and they cannot and should not be taken away from us, we as a people must strive to protect them, government should protect them and breaches of our rights should be highlighted and addressed appropriately.

Human rights are the same for everyone irrespective of colour, class or creed, and are applicable at both the national and international level. In Jamaica, our human rights are enshrined in and protected by our Constitution. Internationally, there have been numerous laws and treaties enacted specifically for the protection of human rights.

Milestone document

Most notably of these is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration is seen as a milestone document in the history of human rights. It was proclaimed by the United Nations, in 1948, as a common standard of achievements for all nations, and sets out the fundamental human rights to be universally recognised and protected.

The Declaration sets out the following rights:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Equality before the law

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement

Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;

Everyone has the right to education.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.