Corazon Miller is a NZ Herald reporter

Auckland Grammar's head promises to tackle ex-pupils' concerns

A former pupil at Auckland Grammar started a blog to highlight concerns of those who didn't identity as being "straight".
A former pupil at Auckland Grammar started a blog to highlight concerns of those who didn't identity as being "straight".

Auckland Grammar's head promises work is being done to challenge what its ex-pupils have labelled as an unpleasant environment for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer (LGBTQ) community.

In a statement released today, headmaster Tim O'Connor said the issues raised by former head boy Joel Bateman, other "old boys" and current students would be discussed as the new school year starts.

"Discussions with old boys ... are key to the school utilising the experiences of young old boys to better today's school environment for all young men. We are appreciative of such support."

Mr Bateman and former school dux Henry Yuen had started the Grammar Pride blog to highlight the concerns of those who didn't identity as being "straight".

They've asked for better support to be established at the school, which they said failed to fully meet their own needs throughout their years at Auckland Grammar.

The pair, who are both studying at top universities in the United States, have spoken candidly of their struggle to conform to the "heteronormative Grammar way".

Joel Bateman. Photo / grammarpride.wordpress.com
Joel Bateman. Photo / grammarpride.wordpress.com

Mr O'Connor has acknowledged it was down to the school to change this attitude.

"It is the school's core responsibility and an on-going exercise to promote attitudes and behaviour in our young men that reflect the school's values.

"This includes teaching young men sensitivity towards and acceptance of the rights of others in our diverse society."

Mr O'Connor said its student-led awareness committee had already initiated discussion on the issues faced by LGBTQ students in September last year.

Henry Yuen. Photo / grammarpride.wordpress.com
Henry Yuen. Photo / grammarpride.wordpress.com

"This proactive group of young men have since presented the school with a proposal to provide better support for BGLTQ students."

Mr Bateman said he was pleased with the response from the school.

"Discussions are underway and we're excited to have everyone on board with this initiative."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 01 Oct 2016 05:22:47 Processing Time: 563ms