North Brisbane school trials gender badges for students
Students at a high school north of Brisbane have been given the opportunity to wear pronoun badges to let their peers and teachers know what they define themselves as.
Redcliffe State High School's LGBTIQ+ group launched the trial of the pronoun badges last week.
While the school did not wish to comment on the trial it did share a post about it on Facebook.
"This week the Redcliffe SHS LGBTIQ+ group began their trial of "pronoun badges"," the post read.
"Pronoun badges are as simple as they sound: they're badges with different pronouns on. "However, their purpose is to display to everyone what those who are wearing them define themselves as. They're also so that people know what to refer to the wearer as."
The social media post attracted a lot of attention with many commenting that it was a "fantastic idea".
"Helps all teachers, especially relief teachers, and kids to know upfront. Will see if I can convince my genderqueer teenage son to bring this idea to Indro State High," one parent said.
Corey Baden said "bravo" and called for more schools to be as inclusive.
Jamie McVeigh wrote: "Amazing! Redcliffe High is setting the standard for acceptance".
Clancy O'Clancy said he didn't have a connection to the school but wished this had existed when he was a student.
"I'm really touched and heartened to see a state school doing this when most of society either looks the other way or ridicules us," the comment read.
"This means a lot and I'm sure it will make a real difference to kids who identify as genderqueer feeling seen and accepted. Thank you for showing moral leadership on this."
Redcliffe State High School P & C president Carlos Ortega said it was a trial the students wanted to try and the P & C supported it.
"At the end of the day our priority is to take care of the students and nothing else," Mr Ortega said.
"We have to have respect for each other regardless of sex, religion or any other background.
"Each person's interpretations about it can be their own but the P & C does respect it.
"The reality is society is changing and everyone has to be respectful of everyone."
Respect has been a big focus of Redcliffe State High School in recent years - following the launch of the Respect - Commit To It project, which is now in place at all peninsula primary and high schools.
A Department of Education Queensland spokeswoman said state school reflect the diverse nature of communities across Queensland.
"Every day, principals respond to the unique learning and support needs of their school
population to ensure every student has the opportunity to learn and succeed in a supportive
and inclusive environment," she said.
The Department said it was yet to hear of any other schools trialling a similar initiative.
Dr Trevor Gates, an expert in gender issues and the senior lecturer in social work at University of the Sunshine Coast said these badges were a step in the right direction to raise awareness about gender indentification issues.
"Any effort to provide a safe and supportive environment for transgender, non-binary, and other gender diverse youth is a good thing," Dr Gates said.
"Several empirical studies have shown an association between being gender inclusive, using the correct names and pronouns, and improvement in mental health outcomes and improving wellbeing."
Dr Gates said it was important that transgender, non-binary and other gender diverse youth feel safe and supported at school.
"Having families on board with a gender inclusive educational environment would be ideal, but is not essential," he said.
"The school has a responsibility even (and especially) when youth are not being supported at home or in the community."
Dr Gates said it was vital that the safety of all youths was kept in mind at all times.
"Just because a student feels comfortable being 'out' with you at school does not mean it is safe to be 'out' elsewhere in their lives, with their parents, or in their communities," he said.
"Ask the youth: Is it okay to call you by this name and gender pronoun outside of this class? In the community? To parents and siblings? To other teachers? Some students may choose to wear the name badges in certain classes at school that feel safe while not wearing the name badge elsewhere."
Originally published as North Brisbane school trials gender badges for students