Update/Clarification: Change is on the way

11/1/16: At this stage, GrammarPride has had nearly 30,000 views and we have been overwhelmed by hundreds of emails and messages of support. Thank you to everyone for your support for LGBTQIA students at Grammar and beyond.

We also feel it’s worth clarifying what we’re trying to achieve with this website. We have received an unexpected wave of media attention, and certain articles have taken excerpts from our posts out of context. Journalism has a tendency to create conflict narratives, even when they don’t exist.

The Grammar leadership team and student body have already been taking steps in this past year to address these issues and we look forward to working as part of this group to promote change.

Although we have been critical of aspects of the school’s current and past culture, our intentions are simply to acknowledge the issues that exist at Grammar, and that we suspect exist across a number of NZ high schools.

What is far more important to us is to provide support to LGBTQIA students by telling our stories and allowing others to share their stories as well. The most inspiring messages we have received have been from students who were able to find a community within Grammar where they could be out and comfortable while at school. These messages acknowledge that issues exist, while also providing hope for students who may be dealing with such issues. And that is what this initiative is all about.

We have re-worked stories and sections of our website (and continue to do so) to better support students, and to ensure that our purpose can’t be misrepresented.

Auckland Grammar is a truly incredible place in many respects, and we are excited about the initiatives which are being introduced in the coming year. We hope that this website will be a helpful part of this, by encouraging change within the student body culture from a grass roots level through social media.

Please continue to share this website with your friends and family, and submit your stories on the ‘Your Story’ page!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Nick says:

    So incredibly proud of you guys for standing up for our rights within the school system. I was openly gay (and dating) throughout my last couple of years at high school in Dunedin and although there were some nasty comments and avoidance by some of my peers, I was lucky enough to have a couple of supportive teachers and friends to help me rise above it. Being comfortable with myself opened me up to a whole community of support and reading your article in the newspaper just punched me in the stomach with feelings. Here’s to gaining more visibility and acceptance in 2016!

    Like

  2. Victor says:

    “Grammar pride” is a wonderful response to what is a massive problem across the education sector. It’s my understanding that schools are legally required to safeguard students’ safety. The Education Act is often interpreted as relating to schools’ obligations around physical safety (e.g. from bullying, asbestos in school buildings, misadventure on outdoor education activities) but I doubt if the psychological [un]safety of homophobic school environments has ever been legally tested here. Unsurprising perhaps because in so many bullying cases, the injured party lacks the capacity to make or take a case, whether that be the victims of sexual harassment [of which homophobia can fairly be included] or already marginalised cultural minorities. Perhaps one day there will be a test case brought here, either under education or human rights law. In the meantime, “young old boys” speaking out begs the obvious question: Why are schools not already proactively and adequately entrusting the safety of all their students?
    While it’s tempting to focus on secondary schools, it’s worth noting the breeding ground for homophobic attitudes is the homes of young children. As a primary teacher I am aware of how homophobic put downs in the playground are rarely challenged directly by most supervising adults within hearing range. One primary school I know of polled parents before sexual education lessons began and, apparently based on parental responses to the survey, excluded material canvassing sexual orientation. This raises another question: Don’t equity issues require schools to make a disproportionate effort to safeguard students in minority groups?
    “Student voice” is often education sector jargon. But “Grammar pride” could actually prove that as well as those voices being hugely positive, they could be life savers.
    Keep up the great work. Victor

    Like

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