Transcript – Principal Susana Lamela – School culture. Youth culture
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Transcript – Principal Susana Lamela – School culture. Youth culture

We had to try to understand [that it wasn’t right] to expect adolescents to conform to those school precepts, but rather, that we had to get closer to their characteristics, to their youth cultures, like you say. Youth cultures had to have room in the school like that, in the plural, with that level of diversity.

So anyway, you probably know about our habit of trying things out. We always said, faced with this unease, why on earth should we stick to complaining? Complaining is conservative. So, faced with a situation of unease that wasn’t doing us teachers any good and clearly didn’t produce good outcomes in students, we would make a foray into the unknown, and sometimes it was wild. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it was so wild that, I think we told you about this, it led to an administrative investigation of the conduct by the then-members of the leading team, because it was like a rupture, it was digging in the ribs of the school format we tend to complain about, the rigidity.

And anyway, there were several attempts to incorporate youth aspects into the school through music, the ways students moved around the school, certain aspects of sexuality and of Comprehensive Sexuality Education. About this, I don’t want to brag, but the truth is we started to work with a CSE perspective and a gender perspective much earlier than, say, the Federal Act or the National Act. I remember workshops that were super interesting; Luana [trans well known personality] was in the school when she wasn’t so well known yet. The kids asked her all kinds of questions.

I remember chatting in the principal’s office with 11- or 12-year-olds that said, I’m bisexual. I said to the little girl, That’s perfect, but we still have time to define ourselves and attach labels to ourselves, because there was this whole trend of defining themselves as lesbians or bisexuals very early in life, but clearly the kids perceived there was a place to be heard, a place of respect for them.