NEWCASTLE High has been transformed into a sea of purple to celebrate diversity and support LGBTIQ+ members of the school community.
Relieving principal Rochelle Dooley said the school participated in national Wear It Purple Day on Friday, as a reminder that everyone is welcome, safe and supported.
"We greatly value student voice and it's something that we instill in our students so that they are part of what our school culture is all about," she said.
"At Newcastle High we're very incredibly fortunate to have such a diverse population in our staff and students and it's a great way to show how we support our community, how we support staff and students and that we make everybody feel welcome and accepted in our school."
Year 10 students Luciana Clews, Luca Maxwell and Eva Raggatt helped to organise this year's event, following similar events in previous years.
They said while COVID-19 restrictions and short notice may have limited the scope of what they could do, most people were wearing a touch of purple, either on jumpers, pants, jewellery, shoes, bowties, socks, hair elastics or scarves.
"I think it's important to support those kids who don't have [support] elsewhere," Luciana said.
Eva said the school values "inclusivity and accepting people for who they are".
"There are a lot of kids in the LGBTIQ+ community here, so it empowers them and supports them," she said.
Luca said it was an opportunity to help raise awareness.
"It's a chance to challenge some of the harmful social cultures that can be brought up throughout teenage-hood and show love," she said.
"It's really nice to see all the teachers getting involved. People are openly part of that community here and it's nice to see them proud."
Luca said the girls hoped there would be discussions about the event in next week's Positive Behaviour for Learning classes, which every student participates in on Thursdays to discuss the school's values of respect, responsibility and participation.
The girls said they were looking forward to making next year's event even bigger.
"I think it empowers LGBTIQ+ young people and promotes the value of diversity and raises awareness about and challenges harmful social cultures," Luciana said.
"It's good to get out that none of this is something to be ashamed of," Luca said.
"It's awesome, it's a great thing to celebrate and should be celebrated more."
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here
IN THE NEWS:
- Hunter prison employee charged over alleged relationship with inmate
- NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean issues Truegain site owner Robert Pullinger with a prohibition notice to clean-up toxic Rutherford site
- Man who assaulted and robbed five people in 90 minutes jailed
- Schoolies off: Another blow for HSC students as Queensland bans end-of-year trips