The vital reason this city school wore purple for a day

Rebecca Greef and Lou Tye wore purple to support their LGBTQ+ students. 

Rebecca Greef and Loue Tye wore purple to support their LGBTQ+ students. - Credit: Michelle Savage

A city school was awash with purple in a pledge to clamp down on bullying. 

Sewell Park Academy wanted to show it stood against abuse of the LGBTQ+ youth - and did so by all wearing the colour on various badges, wrist bands and more. 

The move came as part of Spirit Day, a national movement to show solidarity and support for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Lauren Perkins, head of PE at Sewell Park Academy and LGBTQ+ champion said: "We are committed to making sure our school is place where all our students feel safe, included and valued for being who they are.  

Lauren Perkins in the LGBTQ+ Champion at Sewell Park Academy.

Lauren Perkins in the LGBTQ+ Champion at Sewell Park Academy. - Credit: Michelle Savage

“To do this, we have a Pride Club that runs on Thursday lunchtimes. It has grown from two students to 65 who regularly attend.” 

As LGBTQ+ champion within the school Mrs Perkins' role includes guiding students who may be questioning their identities.  

Staff and students united to celebrate all their diversity. 

Staff and students united to celebrate all their diversity. - Credit: Michelle Savage

She said: “Our social curriculum includes the need for respect which links perfectly with our Wear Purple Day celebrations to promote equality and ensure all individuals know that bullying of any kind is not tolerated.” 

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Mrs Perkins said that when she was at school being an LGBQT+ youngster was a taboo subject.  

Students wore their stickers with pride. 

Students wore their stickers with pride. - Credit: Michelle Savage

She said: “I am really keen for our students to feel safe to discover who they are and reduce the numbers of LGBTQ+ teenagers who suffer from mental health issues.” 

Rebecca Greef, who is an English teacher at the school said: “Lots of students have asked me why I’m wearing purple today.  

"The LGBTQ+ students have really appreciated knowing staff are there to support them.” 

Rebecca Greef and Lou Tye both took part in wearing purple clothes to support their students. 

Rebecca Greef and Loue Tye both took part in wearing purple clothes to support their students. - Credit: Michelle Savage

Loue Tye, who is a teaching assistant said: “A lot of students said they felt validated seeing myself and other staff wearing purple.  

“For me it felt great to be part of something bigger than just myself."

Stephanie Lerner, who is a year leader and pastoral support said: “It’s so important to celebrate diversity." 

Stephanie Lerner, year leader thinks that diversity is very important. 

Stephanie Lerner, year leader thinks that diversity is very important. - Credit: Michelle Savage

The chair of Norwich Pride, Joseph Ballard said: “This was about creating awareness of and standing up to the constant bullying that LGBTQ+ young people face. 

Joseph Ballard wore a purple suit for Spirit Day

Joseph Ballard wore a purple suit for Spirit Day and opened up some very important conversations in showing he stood with the young people at his school. - Credit: Joseph Ballard.

“We want a world that is kind and accepting – let’s not just teach our young people to think that way; but be that way ourselves and leading by example.” 

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