It is unlawful for anyone in Australia to discriminate or harass on the basis of sexual orientation, sex or gender history, gender identity, intersex status or same-sex relationships.
Schools have a legal duty to protect students under the:
- Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA);
- Sex Discrimination Act (Cth);
- School Education Act 1999 (WA); and,
- Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 (WA)
School leadership is pivotal in creating and developing an inclusive school culture. Under the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA) and the Sex Discrimination Act (Cth), the employer has a legal obligation to take all reasonable steps to prevent unlawful discrimination and harassment.
Safe and inclusive schools provide supportive environments where LGBTI students can talk to staff and be supported with information and discover, when appropriate, those support services that are available.
Schools have the responsibility to provide a safe learning environment for students, staff and whole school community. Homophobic bullying can negatively affect a young person’s attainment and future life chances, and can lead to increased risk of self-harm and suicide.