DAVIS College are leading the way in creating safe spaces for LGBTI+ students by becoming the first school in Cork to take part in a new national project. Davis College. along with 19 other schools nationwide, will be partnering with BeLonG To Youth Services to undertake their LGBTI+ Safe & Supportive Schools Project.
The project aims to encourage a whole-school approach to creating a school environment that is fully inclusive of LGBTI+ students.
Findings from the BeLonG To Youth Service’s School Climate Survey last year have revealed that 73 per cent of LGBTI+ students in Ireland feel unsafe at school.
68 per cent of LGBTI+ students said they hear anti-LGBTI+ remarks from other students, and a further 55 per cent reported hearing transphobic remarks from teachers and staff members.
Speaking on the launch of the programme, Deputy Principal of Davis College, José Horta said that every school should focus on the wellbeing of LGBTI+ students.
“All schools should prioritise the safety and wellbeing of LGBTI+ students,” he said. “We hope that in adopting this programme we can create an environment in which LGBTI+ feel safe and supported by all of our staff and their classmates.”
BeLonG To Youth Services is the national organisation supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI+) young people in Ireland.
Since 2003, they worked with LGBTI+ young people to create a world where they are equal, safe and valued in the diversity of their identities and experiences.
The organisation also advocates and campaigns on behalf of young LGBTI+ people, and offers a specialised LGBTI+ youth service with a focus on mental and sexual health, alongside drug and alcohol outreach.
Moninne Griffith, CEO of BeLonG To Youth Services, commended the Cork school for their participation in their project.
“We are proud to support Davis College as they begin their journey towards becoming a school that is fully inclusive of LGBTI+ students,” she said. “LGBTI+ young people need to feel equal, safe and supported at school so that they can live healthy lives and thrive at school.
“We celebrate Davis College for taking the lead and joining our new national project to ensure that school is a safe and supportive space for all students.”