In the first initiative of its kind in Australia, the Victorian Government has provided $80,000 to the Safe Schools Coalition Victoria (SSCV), a partnership between Rainbow Network Victoria and the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA).
SSCV will establish a network of schools dedicated to creating safer educational environments, free of homophobia and supportive of same-sex attracted and gender-questioning students. Under the program, schools will be encouraged to set up gay/straight student alliances, share resources and provide teacher training that identifies – and stamps out – homophobia in the classroom. Students and teachers will get access to support networks and be encouraged to create posters, newsletters or forums that support sexual diversity in schools.
To find out more about the coalition, including how to join Safe Schools, visit the SSCV website. Also available at the site is a national study on the sexual health and wellbeing of same sex attracted and gender questioning Australian young people, which includes a chapter on sexuality and school experience, and evidence of an increase in the level of homophobic bullying present in schools.
For UK based resources see: Schools Out; Stonewall’s Education for All site; LGBT Youth Scotland
For resources in Ireland see: Belong to
For resources in New Zealand see: Rainbow Youth
For Australian based sites see: Safe Schools Coalition Victoria