As we celebrate Pride Month in June, we take a closer look at the importance of embracing the movement within school environments and how teachers, school leaders and parents can actively support and advocate for equality and inclusivity.
In today’s diverse and evolving society, it is essential that schools work hard to create an inclusive environment for all students. By recognising and embracing the LGBTQ+ community within schools, it is possible to create an atmosphere of acceptance, respect and understanding, which will all have an excellent impact on the wellbeing and academic success of students.
What is Pride Month?
Pride Month started in June 1999 in the USA, as a way to honour and remember those who protested for the rights of gay people, and the celebration has grown and spread throughout the world. Today, Pride Month also raises awareness of issues faced by those within the LGBTQ+ community, such as the fight for same sex marriage. However there is still progress to be made to allow everyone to live their lives to the full.
A recent report by Stonewall and YouGov highlights the barriers those within the LGBTQ+ community face, with discrimination, hostility and unfair treatment all contributing to worryingly high rates of poor mental health. In fact, the report states that 3 in 5 LGBTQ+ people have suffered with anxiety and 50% have experienced depression.
Creating a safe and supportive environment
By supporting LGBTQ+ people within the school community, you can help to encourage acceptance, raise awareness and improve mental wellbeing. Educational establishments always aim to create a safe and supportive environment, and by openly accepting and acknowledging those who are looking to celebrate Pride Month, it will send a powerful message of inclusivity and belonging across the school.
There are many misconceptions and prejudices which continue to create barriers to integration, but now is the time to challenge these and create a more inclusive and accepting community where every student is free to be themselves. No one should ever feel alone, and every individual person within a school environment should feel valued and respected.
How can schools celebrate Pride Month?
This month is an excellent opportunity for schools to educate students, teachers, and parents alike about the diverse LGBTQ+ individuals that have shaped history. Not only is June Pride Month, but School Diversity Week also runs from 20-24th June with thousands of primary and secondary schools excited to take part.
By introducing new perspectives, interesting stories, and achievements of those within the LGBTQ+ community, you can help to promote understanding and empathy, with students learning to appreciate the diversity within the school environment.
These additional activities can be tailored to include age-appropriate discussions and activities, with a focus on treating everyone with kindness, understanding and fairness. From inclusive science lessons to rainbow dress-up days, there is an array of ideas available which can support the school curriculum.
Many parents believe it is important for children to learn about LGBTQ+ families. Research by Just Like Us found that almost 40% of parents have already discussed with their children what LGBTQ+ means.
However, the research also found that many parents may not know how to start conversations with the children, an issue which can be resolved by involving parents in Pride month activities. These improved school-home connections will also reinforce the importance of values such as respect, understanding and acceptance.
Embrace the opportunity to celebrate Pride Month with EDClass!
Schools play an important role in the formative years of young people, and by celebrating and raising awareness of Pride Month, we believe it is possible to lay the foundations for a more inclusive society. As a team, we are committed to providing the resources schools need to create an inclusive environment, and we work hard to create solutions which ensure every student feels included.
Find out more about how EDClass can help you create a secure and inclusive online learning environment or contact the EDClass team today.