School Diversity Week takes place from 20-24 June
BY LUCAN FAIRWEATHER, IMAGE BY JUST LIKE US
LGBT+ young people’s charity Just Like Us highlights the importance of LGBTQI education and equality in schools with School Diversity Week. The campaign is a celebration of LGBTQI identities and takes place across thousands of primary and secondary schools in the UK during Pride month, and today, the charity shares a poignant video sharing pupils insights on why Pride, and School Diversity Week, matters.
This year, a record number of schools are involved in learning what LGBTQI means and the importance of Pride through assemblies, fundraisers and inclusive lessons on science and English.
Year 11 pupil Libby says that schools should take part in School Diversity Week because “it gives us the opportunity to be who we are without fear that people are going to judge us.” Likewise, Ahania, a Year 10 pupil, says: “I think it widens the school community. It strengthens us because then we know that everyone is accepted, everyone gets treated equally.”
LGBTQI school pupils are twice as likely to be bullied, have depression, be lonely on a daily basis and struggle with anxiety. Independent research by Just Like Us found that LGBTQI inclusive education is linked to pupils having better mental health. The charity’s work with primary schools focuses on diverse families, kindness and respecting differences.
LGBTQI children’s book authors Harry Woodgate, Jodie Lancet-Grant and Benjamin Dean have recorded exclusive readings of their books in order to open up conversations about diverse families.
The effects of LGBTQI positive education is apparent in schools, with Principal at Norwich Primary Academy in Norfolk, Rebecca Handley-Kirk, saying: “The impact on pupils has been profound. Children really think before they speak now. They’re thinking about the joking language that they used to use and it isn’t being used anymore. We’re not having homophobic language used on the playground.”
School Diversity Week takes place 20-24 June and Just Like Us provides free resources to schools. Sign up via their website at www.justlikeus.org. Follow Just Like Us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Aged under 25? Consider joining their Ambassador Programme and help to change real lives with real stories.
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