How to celebrate Pride in the classroom
The history of Pride has been firmly rooted in the month of June for over 50 years. It creates an ideal opportunity for teachers and support staff alike to reflect on the momentous steps towards equality that have already taken place as well as highlight what still needs to be done.
Your role as a leader in the classroom is to educate your pupils on the important messages that the month brings to the forefront, whilst also creating a safe environment where students can talk about anything that they are going through.
History of Pride
The Stonewall Riots, that took place on 28th June 1969, are regarded as the catalyst that started the Pride movement, when the LGBTQ+ customers of New York City’s Stonewall Inn resisted police raids on their bar. What became apparent after the riots, was a general feeling of mistreatment towards LGBTQ+ people not only in New York but around the world. The first Pride march (at the time, The Gay Liberation March) took place at the Christopher Street Liberation Day, a year later, in New York and another the following year; the UK followed suit 2 years later in 1972, commemorating their first Pride event. From here, there have been numerous annual Pride events taking place throughout the month of June across the globe; a chance to celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community but also protest their treatment and issues of inequality.
Celebrating Pride in the classroom
There are many ways to incorporate the history, key messages, and learnings that Pride has provided over the years into your lessons. The key takeaway for each one should relate back to how far equality for the LGBTQ+ community has come in the 53 years since the riots and what more has to be done.
The Stonewall charity has created many resources to help both primary teachers and secondary teachers. “1 in 4 pupils have been taught about or discussed LGBTQ+ issues in wider classes, such as English or Geography”, therefore, it would be a good idea for teachers to think about bringing the issues into every type of lesson. Here are our ideas for your lessons:
Newspaper front cover
Your students could create a front cover of the newspaper for the day after the first Pride march as part of a history lesson. The newspaper cover could include the importance of the march and a retrospective of the hopes for the community in terms of equality. This will provide students with an opportunity to see what equality was like back then and what the community wanted.
Reading LGBTQ+ focused stories
Either as part of class reading or set as reading homework in English lessons, there are many LGBTQ+ books available that focus on LGBTQ+ family units for younger students or LGBTQ+ romance novels for secondary students. Reading these stories will provide an opportunity for further conversations in class about what the students have learnt, especially for secondary students, as it provides an opportunity to think about empathy and what the characters of the story may be feeling.
Celebrate prominent LGBTQ+ figures throughout history
From Alan Turing to Oscar Wilde, RuPaul to Anne Lister, there are many prominent and popular figures who have contributed to the LGBTQ+ community and helped accelerate the advancement of equality for the group. Ask your students to create a presentation to speak about their chosen figure’s life and work and how they have contributed to the advancement of the LGBTQ+ community.
These are just a few ideas of how you can incorporate Pride into your lessons, but there are many more options available, perhaps think about creating an LGBTQ+ forum for your school or tackling difficult topics such as bullying and discrimination in PSHE lessons.
Why Pride is important to Tradewind employees
from Scott Mason-Grieshaber, Senior Education Consultant in Manchester, LGBTQ+ member
"Pride is so important at Tradewind as it allows us to celebrate and recognise the differences between our colleagues, clients and candidates. Together, we are in a unique position to be able to educate the adults of tomorrow about equality and acceptance and make a real difference in shaping the future of our societies and how we respect one another. Pride is a time to reflect on the struggles of those before us, who fought so hard to gain equity in our society and recognise how fortunate we are. It’s also a time to reflect on those LGBTQ+ individuals around the world who are still fighting for a life of freedom, especially at the moment when there seems to be a resurgence of homophobia and hostility towards trans groups, even in the UK. Pride is about celebration but also about visibility and acceptance. June is the perfect time to highlight this, but Pride is a constant."
Tradewind Recruitment’s commitment to Pride
Whilst June is a fantastic opportunity to speak about the themes of Pride within the workplace and with our schools, teachers, TAs and support staff, we believe that there should always be a focus on equality for the LGBTQ+ community. This year we have launched a Pride email, manned by members of the LGBTQ+ community within the company, for people to have a safe space to talk about their ideas, any positive experiences or if they would like to raise a matter confidentially. As market leaders and supporters of people, it’s time we stood up and represented:
- The LGBTQ+ colleagues we work with and often call family
- The LGBTQ+ candidates and clients we partner with and support
- The LGBTQ+ students and communities our work extends to and impacts every day
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