Ben Howlett, the Member of Parliament for Bath, recently welcomed a number of students from King Edward’s School to Parliament to participate in the launch of UK School’s Diversity Week.
The launch, which was hosted by LGBT+ charity Just Like Us, formally started a week of activities that hundreds of schools across the country will participate in, from non-uniform days to LGBT+ workshops, all to raise awareness for discrimination and bullying that many LGBT+ students still face.
The launch included speeches from ITV’s political correspondent, Paul Brand, the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, as well as two LGBT+ students who shared their stories.
After the speeches, the students met with the Education Secretary and quizzed her on what changes could be made in schools to widen awareness of LGBT+ issues and to tackle discrimination.
One student said: “Our trip to the announcement of school’s diversity week was a wonderful experience. We started our LGBT+ group (KES Pride) two years ago and attending this event let us see many other ways in which our group can affect change, it was also a great opportunity for us to meet with some incredibly important figures; from the Secretary of State for Education to the iconic gay right’s activist Peter Tatchell.
“Issues ranging from the state of homophobia in light of the Orlando shooting to LGBT+ friendly sexual education in schools were discussed and debated.”
Ben Howlett commented: “KES students have been leading the way on LGBT and have presented some brilliant campaigns on the trans community, so it was great to welcome the students to the Houses of Parliament for this launch.
“LGBT+ discrimination is still widespread throughout too many schools across the country, and I welcome anything done to try and tackle this.
“It was fantastic to see young people so passionate about issues which clearly mean a lot to them, and that they were able to question the Education Secretary personally topped off the event.”