Last week, students from St Hugh's joined over 150,000 pupils and teachers across the country in celebrating School Diversity Week, the national celebration of lesbian, gay bisexual and trans (LGBT+) equality in education, organised by the charity Just Like Us (justlikeus.org).
In June 2017, the Stonewall School Report 2017 was released, which revealed that 45% of lesbian, gay, bi and trans young people are bullied for being LGBT and that 86% of LGBT young people still hear language like “that’s so gay” and “you’re so gay”. Over the past year, St Hugh’s staff and students have been working hard to ensure that this language is eradicated and to ensure St Hugh's is a place where every young person can thrive and be themselves. To continue this work, as part of School Diversity Week, students and staff created a display of messages of support and acceptance, which was recognised by Just Like Us and sent out to all schools as an example of good practice.
Explaining the importance of School Diversity Week, Headteacher, Mrs Dench said “We are passionate about celebrating diversity”.
The week was launched in April by the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, who described coming out as ‘the best thing I’ve done in many, many, many a year,” adding “I think it was a choice that I needed to make. I needed to be true to myself about who I am and I also felt I did and I do have a responsibility to the broader LGBT community”.
Praising the work of Just Like Us to improve the quality of life of LGBT+ pupils in schools, she added “‘I think it would have been really helpful for people like me growing up.”
Schools interested in taking part in School Diversity Week can visit www.justlikeus.org/sdw to find out more information. Parents and guardians who would like further information on supporting an LGBT young person can find support at: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/help-advice/coming-out/so-you-think-your-child-gay-lesbian-or-bisexual