Bialik College joins Safe Schools Coalition Victoria

MEDIA RELEASE
March 1 2013

ALEPH MELBOURNE CONGRATULATES BIALIK COLLEGE
ON JOINING SAFE SCHOOLS COALITION VICTORIA

Aleph Melbourne congratulates Bialik College on joining Safe Schools Coalition Victoria today.  Bialik College is now the third Jewish day school in Victoria to join SSCV, following in the footsteps of long-standing member King David School and the more recent addition of Sholem Aleichem College.

Aleph Melbourne co-convenor Michael Barnett said “Bialik College has shown true leadership in joining Safe Schools Coalition Victoria today.  It is a sign of commitment and maturity by the school that it places the welfare of its students foremost.  As a former student of Bialik College who struggled deeply with my sexuality during my high school years, I am confident my academic and social experience would have benefited by this type of initiative.”

Aleph Melbourne calls on all remaining Jewish day and after-hours schools to follow the leadership set by King David School, Bialik College and Sholem Aleichem College and similarly join SSCV.  The health and well-being of the community’s children must not be sacrificed, especially during some of the most critical years of their lives.

Suicide and self-harm have been demonstrated to be a serious problem amongst same-sex attracted youth when they are not accepted and affirmed unconditionally, with elevated level of risk to the norm.  The sooner all schools mitigate this risk by adopting “best practices” in regards to acceptance of diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status the better off the community will be.

CONTACTS:
Aleph Melbourne: Michael Barnett / 0417-595-541 / michael@aleph.org.au
Safe Schools Coalition Victoria: Roz Ward / 03-9285-5131 / r.ward@latrobe.edu.au

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