INDEPENDENT NEWS

InsideOUT Advocates for LGBTQIA+ Youth Rights In Schools

Published: Mon 16 Oct 2017 02:12 PM
InsideOUT Advocates for LGBTQIA+ Youth Rights In Schools
National youth charity InsideOUT have released a new resource advocating for LGBTQIA+ young people’s legal rights at school.
The resource, titled ‘Legal Rights At School: For Young People of Minority Sexualities and Genders' is aimed at high-school students and was created in partnership with Wellington & Hutt Valley Community Law.
InsideOUT’s new resource aims to answer students’ questions about what their legal rights are at school regarding issues around sexuality and gender diversity. It covers frequently asked questions regarding issues such as bullying, freedom of speech, queer straight alliances, support for transgender students and more.
“More and more young people are being open about their sexual orientation and gender identities in schools,” says Tabby Besley, National Coordinator of InsideOUT. “Schools have an obligation to provide a safe environment for all of their students, but many of them are still not fulfilling that.”
“We have young people contacting us all the time who are being discriminated against by their schools in ways that don’t correspond with the law. We still hear stories about students having to rewrite assignments because their homophobic teacher said it wasn’t okay to talk about queer issues, or being refused to set up a queer straight alliance when any other kind of club in the school is allowed. Some young people have to sign a disclaimer about how they identify to bring a same gender partner to the ball, and many trans students are in situations where their schools are not prioritising their safety and wellbeing.
“We want this resource help students, staff and whānau advocate for the right to safety and inclusion of LGBTQIA+ youth in all our schools. Many young people don’t know how the law supports their situation, or don’t have the tools to advocate for themselves. We believe this resource can provide that information and give young people the confidence to stand up for their rights.”
The resource is available for anyone to view and download for free online at: http://insideout.org.nz/legal-rights-at-school/
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