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Thursday 29 June 2017

Schools network supports diversity groups

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 5th September 2016

School students and staff around the country are signing up to a Schools Network resourcing programme, giving them access to support and resources related to queer-straight alliances.

Released by national LGBTI youth organisation, InsideOUT, in collaboration with other organisations and volunteers, the resourcing programme helps schools and students to create positive change. Staff and students signing up to the network will receive monthly newsletters and individual support, as well as a package of resources developed by InsideOUT and other relevant organisations. This pack will include the newly revised edition of the queer-straight alliance support guide Starting and Strengthening Rainbow Diversity Groups, made in conjunction with RainbowYOUTH.

“The first version of this resource, created between InsideOUT and RY in 2011 was really well received by QSA’s around Aotearoa. We’re excited to be involved in updating the resource for 2016, and helping to empower our rangatahi in their schools,” says Toni Duder, Communications & Operations Manager for RainbowYOUTH.

Connor Mcleod, Schools Coordinator at InsideOUT says the aim is “to make Aotearoa a safer place for all rainbow minority youth, and we definitely think students play a big role in realising this dream.

He says that schools have an obligation to provide a safe place for all of their students, however what causes issues is that many are unsure about how to provide this to students in often homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic environments. Without the support from schools Mcleod says many students face challenges leading their groups.

“In our experiences, and from talking to students currently in high school, some of the most positive and effective changes come from young leaders who have this really valuable insider knowledge about the culture of their school.

"We know that the Schools Network will be a valuable form of support for these students, and we hope that through our newsletter showcasing groups throughout the country, schools continue to realise the valuable place of these groups and their leaders."

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