School students take part in 'magical' lunchtime Pride parade
- Credit: ©Kate Wolstenholme
High school pupils had a lunchtime with a difference after taking part in a magical Norwich Pride parade.
Dozens of students from Sewell Park Academy on St Clements Hill in Norwich marched with rainbow flags, and sang songs on Wednesday, July 7 for the Norwich Pride Schools Week, which gets youngsters involved ahead of the big day on July 31.
It was the first time Sewell Park had taken part in a mass parade, in which students were taking part in year group bubbles to be Covid secure, and was kicked off by Norwich Pride town crier Mike Wabe.
Student Sebastian Moldoveanu, 15, said: "It was fun. It shows people they can be free about their sex. The Sewell Park community is really accepting."
Ellis Body, 15, another pupil who took part, said: "It was so good to take part after lockdown. The sense of being together is great. You shouldn't hide away from who you want to be."
Headteacher David Day said it was great to finish the year with a sense of positivity and community after a tough year of Covid restrictions.
He said: "We are one of the most diverse high schools in Norfolk. Pride Schools Week follows one of our core values - respect. The parade is about celebrating diversity. We are very proud."
The headteacher added that awareness of LGBTQ+ issues had increased a lot across the younger generation over the past few years and wanted to hold the parade again.
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Michelle Savage, school counsellor, who described the event as joyful, said: "Norwich Pride Schools Week is a way to educate children that members of the LGBTQ+ community contribute to society. Research has shown learning about the LGBTQ+ community is better for everyone's mental health."
Det Con Beth Davies from Norfolk Police said she believed there was more work to do across society in highlighting challenges for the transgender and bisexual community because there were still hate crimes committed against some of these people, but she said LGBTQ+ education had improved a lot.
The co-chairman of the LGBTQ+ Support Network on Norfolk and Suffolk Police, said: "It was quite moving. Events like this are fantastic because it brings people together in solidarity."
Norfolk drag queen Titania Trust described the march as "magical".