Stoke Newington students for gay rights

Hackney schoolchildren campaign for gay rights pic: Mike Flood-Page

Stoke Newington school students marched in support of gay rights at Clissold Park today.

Around 200 young people aged between 12 and 13 from Stoke Newington Secondary School walked around the local park with banners in support of equality for the London homosexual and transgendered community.

The demo is part of the school’s annual week in support of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights.

Stoke Newington Teacher and LGBT coordinator, Elly Barnes, said: “Schools have the power to transform lives and be a driving force to break down social prejudices to create a cohesive society.”

The annual LGBT week began five years ago and has since helped eradicate the use of defamatory language and has reduced homophobic bullying and taunting.

This year the LGBT celebrations have been the biggest yet, drawing help from the Project for Advocacy, Councilling and Education (PACE), who promote gay well-being and mental health, and Drill Hall theatre and arts centre.

The annual festivities concluded with a celebratory concert with a special guest appearance from Paralympics athlete Clare Harvey, who captained Scotland’s Women’s Rugby team before a bicycle accident confined her to a wheelchair.  She is now one of Britain’s Olympic hopefuls in floor volleyball.

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