Today we celebrated IDAHOT day at Wirreanda (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia). The day celebrates pride, diversity, acceptance and acts as a message of support to rainbow students and rainbow families in our school community.
Wirreanda staff and students have a long history of actively celebrating and supporting diversity within our community, a factor we take great pride in.
Back in 2012, students at Wirreanda (along with ex-Wirri teacher Ms Metzl) initially pledged to stop using the term ‘gay’ as an insult. As this idea gained momentum, we were lucky enough to be able to take part in making a short film about our work at school. The Foundation for Young Australians sent us a film crew and helped us to make a video to spread our message further.
As a result of this video, our students were awarded a grant to put towards additional student-led initiatives and activities. Our student leaders met and decided to spend our grant money on a badge maker and supplies. Every student wellbeing day that we run at school benefits from this purchase as students are able to design and make their own messages on badges to share with their peers at school. We also made a deliberate choice to write a constant reminder to our students about our school value of ‘respect’. Students chose the link stairs as the location for their message of: Love, peace, no sexism, no racism, no violence, no homophobia.
As part of our celebrations today, students shared messages of support for sexually diverse and gender diverse people through: our photo-board, making pledges to not use derogatory language, shared information about IDAHOT day and positively celebrated our diverse school community.
Walking around the yard during our lunchtime celebration of IDAHOT day today both reinforced and highlighted the incredible compassion, kindness and respect that our students share for one another (and staff too!)
I would like to make a special mention of thanks to the students involved in the Gay/Straight Alliance for helping to prepare for today & for being driven to make their school a safer place. You constantly make me proud to be a Wirreanda teacher.