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The UK’s first School Pride Week is happening this year

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Described as “the biggest ever demonstration of support for tolerance, equality and diversity in schools.”

Just Like Us, a charity which promotes LGBT understanding in schools, is launching the UK’s first nationwide School Pride Week from 20-24 June to celebrate diversity in education.

UK School Pride Week will be the first opportunity for schools across the UK to unite in showing their support for LGBT pupils and in combating homophobia and intolerance, and will include activities such as rainbow non-uniform days.

Tim Ramsey, Founder and Director of Just Like Us, emphasised the positive impact schools can have: “By joining UK School Pride, schools can send an inspiring visual message to young people of their commitment to supporting and celebrating everyone in the community.

“It’s a great opportunity for schools to take a united, proactive approach to supporting LGBTQ+ and combating homophobia.”

Paul Brand, a patron of JLU and a Political Correspondent for ITV, echoed Ramsey’s support for the scheme: “I wish UK Pride Week had existed when I was at school – it is the perfect way to teach children acceptance and make school a happy place for all pupils, whatever their sexual orientation.”

There are huge obstacles for LGBT students in schools, according to Stonewall Teachers’ and School reports in 2012 and 2014. The report found two in five LGBT students contemplate suicide, half self-harm, and nine in ten hear homophobic remarks in school.

James Wharton, former soldier, author of Out In The Army: My Life as a Gay Soldier, and an LGBT rights campaigner, said: “The one thing I’m certain of today, living in London and enjoying all the rights and equalities that have been secured for people like me over the decades, is that the younger me at school would have been so grateful for some of the things I now take for granted.“School Pride Week will offer young people an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of LGBT people of all ages, and afford some realisation of acceptance to teenagers that might not yet have experienced that freedom and equality, missing from my youth, and many others.”

Find out more about Just Like us at www.justlikeus.org

Source: Gay Times News

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