Diversity explored in specialist school event
Students from St John’s explored themes of diversity at a recent workshop held for its senior pupils.
The Sixth Form and Year 11 students were visited by speakers from Diversity Role Models, a London-based charity.
The charity actively seeks to prevent homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in UK schools. Role models and speakers travel throughout the country to speak with students on the subject and this was their first visit to a school for the deaf.
Three speakers from Diversity Role Models explored aspects of diversity and sexuality including the vocabulary people use to describe a person’s sexuality and which language and terms could be deemed offensive or bullying and the potential impact of using such language.
The speakers, Kate, Graeme and Rachel, also explored with the young people the potential effects on a person’s mental health and feelings of isolation should they not be able to speak about their sexuality for fear of bullying.
Other themes such as not judging people by their outward appearance were also explored.
Headteacher Ann Bradbury said: “This workshop was extremely moving, interesting and important for the young people. Exploring communication and language on this important subject is extremely valuable for our young people. I know we will be thinking about what we have heard and learned from this workshop for a long time to come.
“We would like to thank our guests for sharing their experiences with our senior pupils and for answering their many questions so honestly and openly.”
Graeme Rainey of Diversity Role Models said: “We work with schools with a view to making them more inclusive places.
“This was our first visit to a school for the deaf and it was wonderful to have so many really interesting questions from the students. We were struck by how inclusive and supportive the school and its pupils are.
“In many ways, the young people here may have experienced similar sorts of “pigeon-holing”, with people making assumptions or judgements about them based on just one aspect of themselves, in this case, their deafness.”