Is your university an official Safe Schools supporter?
In an incredible display of support for the program, 362 academics representing over 40 institutions across the nation have written an open letter of support. Here's what it said:
We are writing to express our support and backing for Safe Schools Coalition Australia.
The Program is a direct response to Australian research showing that same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse young people are subject to high levels of homophobic and transphobic bullying and abuse at school. These experiences are linked with poorer mental health and wellbeing outcomes.
In 2008, the Fourth National Survey of Australian Secondary Students Sexual Health found that between 9 and 10% of young people identified as being attracted to people of the same or both sexes. Research from New Zealand, Youth â12 (2012) found that approximately 4 out of every 100 students reported that they were either transgender (1.2%) or that they were not sure of their gender (2.5%).
A national survey of the health and wellbeing of same sex attracted young people found that 75% of these young people experienced some sort of homophobic abuse and school was the place where most of that abuse took place (80%). (Writing Themselves In 3, 2010)
A national survey of the mental health and wellbeing of transgender and gender diverse young people in Australia, found that 61% of gender diverse and transgender young people had experienced verbal abuse and 21% experienced physical abuse. Of those who had experienced abuse, 80% had thought about self-harm and 81% had thought about suicide. (From Blues to Rainbows, 2014)
Safe Schools Coalition Australia provides much needed positive support to school communities who are able to request free professional development for staff, a range of resources, advice and guidance on how to create more inclusive learning environments for all students. The number of schools who have engaged with the program (almost 500) and the number of staff who have accessed training (over 13,000) shows a clear demand from Principals, teachers, students and families across all education sectors.
This program is important in responding to the specific needs of same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse young people in schools. It is also important in creating more inclusive, supportive and safe schools where all young people can meet their education potential.
Main image from Can Stock.