Deerpark CBS in St Patrick’s Road, Ballintemple, County Cork is running a weeklong event to coincide with National Stand-Up Awareness Week, which is organised by Belong To, an Irish support group for LGBTQ+ youths.
This event is helping to increase awareness, friendship and support for those involved in the LGBTQ+ people, and this awareness week helps to tackle homophobic bullying. The weeklong support system is helping to tackle issues facing LGBTQ+ youths by letting them know that they are not alone, and that bullying is 100% not acceptable.
To mark the week that's in it, the school will raise a rainbow flag to show its support for the cause, marking the school as a tolerant and accepting institution, and a safe place for all. As well as this - films, documentaries, discussions and debates based around the issue of homophobia will take place throughout the week, with guest speakers including Senator Jerry Buttimer and former Deerpark CBS student and Mr Gay Cork, Konrad Im.
The school principal's Kevin Barry told The Evening Echo that the school is working to eliminate discrimination against LGBTQ+ students:
For a long time now, the Catholic Church has been seen as a cold, uncaring institution that supports anti-gay prejudice and discrimination. As a Catholic school in the ERST (Edmund Rice Schools Trust) tradition, our position and ethos is very clear. ERST schools take their inspiration from the caring and loving example of Christ.
Over the last few years, the ERST Trust has worked with the Gay & Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) to help end prejudice and discrimination against gay people. In Deerpark CBS, we challenge prejudice and attitudes that we believe go against the caring instinct of the Christian message. We find prejudice and discrimination to be an ugly and immature behaviour that some people display.
It is important to remember that being gay is not a choice. Rather, a person’s sexuality is a core aspect of who that person is, and is no more a choice than height or skin colour or intelligence.
Well bloody said.
What a fantastic example to set for students and colleagues alike.