At Marple Hall School, we pride ourselves on supporting our LGBT+ students and staff and want our school to be an inclusive environment. After all, the famous gay novelist Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood would have probably wanted that too.
Mr Purdie asked me last week how I would feel about us flying two rainbow flags outside school. My answer; ‘I’d feel even prouder of our school than I do now’
How we increase LGBT+ awareness at Marple Hall School
We have Pride flags outside each building of the school and we have painted rainbow flags to increase visibility. Displays in each building and curriculum areas include well-known LGBT+ figures and support we offer in school and we also hold an LGBT+ allies social group every Blue Week in the Art Dept.
We have taken part in the Dutch ‘holding hands’ initiative, celebrate annual events, wear pride laces and are continually auditing the schemes of work to ensure LGBT+ issues are featured.
‘One area where ‘comprehensive’ really should mean everyone is when it comes to giving everyone the right to go to school and feel respected, safe and able to learn. No-one should feel persecuted because of their gender, age, ethnicity, size, religion, nationality, sexuality or any other characteristic feature. In a society that is so full of people, usually adults, who are happy to spread hate online it is encumbent on schools to try and fight this by being as inclusive as possible. Our young people are exposed to so much bigotry on social media, in society and now even in the news and world-wide politics it is clear that we face an uphill battle.
But, if there is one thing that working with young people gives you (besides headaches), it is hope. Hope for the future and hope that the young can teach the old when it comes to inclusion and tolerance. That is why I am so happy that our school has embraced our LGBT+ week in the way that it has. From the rainbow laces and lanyards to the assemblies and the PSHE lessons, students have learnt about diversity and tolerance in a mature and uplifting way. Young people are curious and Mr Purdie and the team leading this work have created a space where it is ok to ask questions and find out more, as well as educating us all about the struggles facing young people who are or who may identify as being LGBT+. As one of the resources put it, ‘no one chooses to be part of a persecuted minority, but people do choose to persecute’.’
Also a few words from our Linked LGBT Governor, Mrs Patton: