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Sir Ian McKellen praises Stonewall Equality Excellence award-winning school

Bea Mitchell June 1, 2016
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Sir Ian McKellen has praised a Stonewall award-winning school and discussed the importance of giving young people a voice.

Burnham Grammar School was recognised for its Equality Excellence at the charity’s annual awards, and Stonewall co-founder McKellen has applauded its efforts, Burnham Advertiser reports.

The actor made an appearance at the awards last month in order to meet the students and staff who ran the school’s campaign.

“Nothing is more important than to continue to enable young people to have a voice, their own voice: to empower themselves and their kind, however they define themselves,” McKellen said.

Burnham Grammar has been working to provide a safe and harmonious environment for LGBT students by tackling bullying and ensuring all pupils are educated about LGBT.

The school, which hosted an LGBT and Pride fortnight with events and activities for students, also started a poster campaign about famous LGBT people.

Students are provided with informative LGBT booklets and given PSHE lessons focusing on coming out and responding to homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Stonewall Youth Programmes manager Wayne Dhesi said: “We’ve been really impressed with the work that Burnham Grammar School has achieved this year, particularly within the LGBT and Pride Fortnight.

“It sets a great example of how schools can support its lesbian, gay, bi and trans students and create an inclusive atmosphere.”

Last week, a trans teacher won a $60,000 settlement in a case which arose when staff members allegedly refused to use appropriate pronouns.

As well as paying the settlement, the district has also agreed to install gender-neutral restrooms in its facilities within three years.

Related topics: ian mckellen, schools, Stonewall

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