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Affirming diverse sexualities and genders in schools

Affirming diverse sexualities and genders in schools

The PPTA is launching an updated and refreshed set of guidelines for schools to help them create a safe and affirming environment for all students. PPTA believes that gender and sexuality should never be barriers to student engagement and achievement.

PPTA rainbow taskforce convenor and secondary school teacher Shawn Cooper says, “There have always been students with diverse gender identities and sexualities, that’s not new. What is new is we’re now calling on schools to develop safe and affirming practices to help these students thrive!”

“Each student has the right for their unique identity to be recognised, respected and celebrated.”

“PPTA is taking the lead in this work because we believe it is our role as teachers to bring out the unique strengths of each child, so they can make the most of every opportunity at school and beyond,” Cooper says.

“Students with diverse sexualities and gender identities face many challenges at school which routinely distract from their learning. Inappropriate toilet and changing room facilities and restrictive uniform regulations unnecessarily exacerbate stress and anxiety.”

“Efforts to recognise and celebrate diverse genders and sexualities work to combat bullying for students who are disproportionately targeted in schools.”

“We want every school and every teacher to have the resources they need to build an inclusive school culture.”

“Affirming diversity of sexualities and gender identities in the school community: guidelines for principals, boards of trustees and teachers” can be downloaded from the Rainbow community section of the PPTA website ppta.org.nz.

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