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The Department is committed to diversity and inclusion in providing the highest level of service to the Victorian community and in reflecting the diversity of the community across its workforce. Providing workplaces which are safe, supportive and inclusive of same sex attracted (gay, lesbian and bisexual) employees helps to build a culture of respect and dignity for all. Same sex attracted employees are entitled to fully participate in their workplace without fear of offensive, harassing, bullying or discriminatory behaviour.
The academic consequences of bullying are severe, not to mention the mental and physical well-being of targeted students and bystanders alike. Bullying is not a new phenomenon, of course, but neither is it an unalterable fact of childhood. School-wide anti-bullying projects, involving parents and non-teaching staff along with teachers and student leaders have been shown to reduce harassment by as much as fifty percent.
This research provides important information on how to create climates where all educators feel safe, protected and valued within their schools. Ultimately, students will not excel to their full potential if all of their teachers do not feel safe and fully supported by their workplace environments. LGBT educators need then to work in as supportive a school climate as heterosexual educators. It is suspected they do not, but little quantitative evidence exists in the literature to know whether this is true. This study sought to fill this gap.