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Zurich School Cancels ‘Gender Day’ After Threats and Attacks


A secondary school in Stäfa, canton Zurich, has cancelled its annual ‘Gender day’ after threats were aimed at school employees.

The event has been held for ten years, but this year has fallen victim to increasingly heated discussions around gender issues.

On Thursday, the school released a statement announcing the cancellation of the event after staff members had received threats, reported various media.

Criticism was also present on social media, including from prominent politicians. One of them, Andreas Glarner from the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, tweeted to demand the dismissal of the entire school management.

Another parliamentarian from the People’s Party, Roger Köppel, said on his Weltwoche Daily video broadcast that the event was a “sexualisation of school lessons”.

The management board also feared disruptions on the day. “We cancelled the day primarily because of the security situation,” said Patrick Rüedi, Head of Education in the municipality. He told the Tages-Anzeiger he was “shocked” by the response, especially after seeing flyers inviting people to show up on the school on Monday.

Centre-right Radical-Liberal Party politician Christian Haltner, who is president of the municipality of Stäfa, denounced the attacks, notably saying that “national parliamentarians should not interfere in municipal autonomy”.

Federal elections are taking place in Switzerland in October.

The topics of ‘Gender Day’ are also included in the “Lehrplan21” curriculum, the study plan for German-speaking Switzerland. According to the local authorities, the goal was to “encourage young people to reflect on their own standards and values and to discuss gender identity and sexuality openly”.

They added that “the school does not want to impose an opinion, but some elements were taken out of context in an emotionally wrong way”.

Source: Swissinfo

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