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LGBTQIA+ young people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, or other sexuality and gender diverse identities) are over represented in bullying statistics.
Auckland University’s most recent Youth 2000 survey (external link) with 8,166 secondary school students in 2012, found that same or both sex attracted young people in New Zealand are 3 times more likely to hurt or bullied at school at least weekly. Transgender identified participants were 4.5 times more likely to report weekly bullying compared to non-transgender peers.
LGBTQIA+ students are in all schools and large youth work groups. Nearly 4% of the students in the 2012 Youth 2000 survey reported being transgender or "not sure of their gender" and 6% reported being attracted to the same sex, both sexes, or were "not sure" of their sexual attractions. This suggests that around 10% of secondary school students are likely to be LGBTQIA+ and will be present across schools and youth work settings.
Schools have an obligation to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all learners.
Ministry of Youth Development's online survey of LGBTIQA+ young people in schools highlighted that it was important for schools to lead by example by:
- acknowledging and normalising LGBTIQA+young people
- having strong anti-bullying policies for all LGBTIQA+students
- educating students and teachers on sexuality and gender diversity
- establishing support networks and guidance channels for LGBTIQA+students
- offering facilities and clothing options that are not gender specific (eg, school uniforms and unisex bathrooms).
This guide from the Ministry of Education provides strategies and suggestions for supporting the inclusion and wellbeing of students who identify as sex, gender, or sexuality diverse (SGSD). The strategies in this guide encompass a variety of initiatives, from school policies and guidelines, to learning experiences that acknowledge, value, and respect the diversity that exists within the school community.
PPTA's Rainbow Taskforce for Safe Schools
PPTA's Rainbow Taskforce for Safe Schools (external link) has been operating for about 14 years. Its job is to help make secondary schools safe and welcoming places for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex students, family/whānau members and teachers. Resources include:
Affirming diversity of sexualities and gender identities in the school community (external link) : and updated and refreshed set of guidelines for schools to help them create a safe and affirming environment for all students.
- PPTA Anti-homophobia workshops for school and staff (external link)
Inside Out is a set of freely available video-based teaching resources which aim to decrease homophobic and transphobic bullying. Inside Out meets key NZ Curriculum and Health Curriculum objectives, including positive relating to others, fostering healthy communities, critical thinking, participating and contributing, sexual health and development, interpersonal skills and attitudes, stereotypes and managing self.
Inside Out has been split into two formats to be developmentally appropriate for children and young people in school years 7-8 and 9-13. The resource for year 7-8 students focusses mainly on gender identity. For year 9-13, the resource expands to include content about sexual identities.
Inside Out was developed in partnership by Core Education, Rainbow YOUTH, Curative and University of Auckland and funded by Ministry of Social Development.
InsideOUT (external link) is a national organisation which works to make Aotearoa a safer place for all young people of minority sexualities, sexes and genders to live and be in. They produce a number of resources to support young people or minority sexualities, genders and sex characteristics to be safe at school. InsideOUT also run a national support network for young people involved in leading rainbow diversity groups or queer straight alliances (QSAs) in their schools.
- More Than Four (external link) : a new video and poster resources exploring the identities and experiences of and beyond 'LGBT' identities.
- Making Schools Safer for Trans and Gender Diverse Youth (external link) : provides tools and information to schools to create safer and more inclusive environments for their trans and gender diverse students.
- Starting and strengthening rainbow diversity groups (external link) : this resource is aimed at students who have or would like to start a rainbow diversity group or queer straight alliance in their school.
- Legal Rights At School (external link) : for young people of minority sexualities and genders.
LGBTQIA+ Further Information
- Rainbow Youth (external link) - provides support, information and advocay for young queer and gender diverse people, their friends, whānau and those who work with them.
- InsideOUT (external link) - works to make Aotearoa a safer place for all young people of minority sexualities, sexes and genders to live and be in.
- AUT Youth 2000 Survey, 2012 (external link) - Conducted by the University of Auckland Adolescent Health Research Group, the Youth 2000 survey series ask a large, representative sample of secondary school students from over approximately a third of all high school in New Zealand a wide range of questions that contribute to health and wellbeing of young people in New Zealand, including same or both-sex attracted and transgender young people (external link)
- Day of Silence (external link) - a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, name-calling and harassment in schools.
- Out on the Shelves (external link) - a resource to support school libraries in connecting rainbow young people with the stories that represent them.