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Wednesday 09 November 2016

Youth resource a response to teachers' pleas

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 22nd September 2015

RainbowYOUTH says its new Inside Out resource has been created in response to the dozens of calls it’s receiving every week from teachers desperate for information to answer students' questions around sex, gender and sexual diversity.

The Inside Out launch event in Auckland. Picture: RainbowYOUTH
The increase in calls come following the newly updated sexuality and health curriculum guidelines released by the Ministry of Education following a 2013 Health Select Committee report. The report uncovered a fragmented and inadequate curriculum and the new guidelines are designed to reflect changing social climates and broader understandings about sexuality and sexuality education.

RainbowYOUTH say they have seen a direct correlation between the updated guidelines and an increase in calls and believe schools now feel more confident to seek out support to provide this material.

Aych McArdle, RainbowYOUTH’s Education Director, says the new resource reflects the New Zealand Curriculum and Health Curriculum objectives. “Carefully created with the new Sexuality Education guidelines in mind, Inside Out is ultimately about fostering positive ways of relating to others; we believe that challenging norms and critical thinking is the foundation for open minds and hearts.

“Teachers in this country are legally able to answer questions related to sexuality that their students ask and clearly there are a lot of questions based on the enormous demand from our schools for helpful, relevant information.”

The freely available video-based teaching resources and resource packs aim to foster positive relationships between youth and in turn reduce homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools.

University of Auckland lecturer, published researcher and a director on the Inside Out resources, Dr John Fenaughty cites the Adolescent Health Research Group (conducted over 12 years of study with more than 25,000 secondary school students) findings to support the need to educate our young people to reduce bullying.

“Bullying rates amongst sexually or gender diverse young people are reported up to 288 per cent higher amongst those attracted to same or both sexes – this is not only heart-breaking but also unacceptable.

“These young people are not the problem. This is about schooling environments that need additional support to produce a safe and supportive learning environment for all students.”

Produced in partnership with Curative, and CORE Education and with support from the University of Auckland, the two year project has been made possible with funding from the Ministry of Social Development.

RainbowYOUTH will be introducing the resource in eight regional centres around the country and more information can be found on the Inside Out website.

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