BeLong To Youth services today launched it’s annual Stand Up! week – their campaign to combat homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.
As a part of Stand Up! Week, BeLonG To has distributed Stand Up! packs to all second-level schools and youth services in the country and the organisation expects that more students, teachers and youth workers will participate in the week than ever before.
Speaking prior to today’s launch, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, Minister for Education and Skills said, ‘‘Stand Up! Awareness Week is a vital initiative in building the positive school climates that will prevent bullying in Irish schools. I urge all post-primary schools to participate in Stand Up!
“My Department greatly values our working relationship with BeLonG To and we look forward to continuing to work with them,’’ she concluded.
In 2010, the first year of Stand Up!, BeLonG To distributed 700 Stand Up! educational packs. In the past five years, the number of packs distributed has significantly increased. In 2015, in the sixth annual Stand Up! campaign, 3,033 packs have been distributed, largely to second-level schools.
Stand Up! educational packs include information on homophobic and transphobic bullying for teachers and youth workers, especially regarding the mental health difficulties caused by such bullying. The packs also include lesson plans, posters and educational DVDs.
David Carroll, Executive Director of BeLonG To, said: “With an intense spotlight on LGBT issues in Ireland at the moment, it is vital to remember that at the end of the day it is often LGBT young people who suffer the most because of homophobia. Young people are coming out in greater numbers, and at a younger age than ever before, so the Stand Up! campaign is needed more than ever”.
In 2011, BeLonG To produced a short film for Stand Up! week, which has since garnered more that 1million views on YouTube.
For more information on Stand Up! Awareness Week against Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying, 20th – 24 April.
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.