Rainbow Families NSW has released a guide for schools and daycare centres to support LGBTI parents and their children throughout the leadup to the postal vote on marriage equality.

Rainbow Families co-chair Vanessa Gonzalez said the guide was created in response to an identified need from the community.

“This debate is not actually about our families, they already exist, and our kids deserve to be safe and protected at school,” she said.

“But there have already been reports of children and LGBTI families being targeted in hurtful campaign material.

“We wanted to equip school communities to support our kids during this time.”

Rainbow Families co-chair Ashley Scott said that the guide was designed to provide clear ways that communities can support the kids of rainbow families during the postal plebiscite.

“The guide has ten simple ways school communities can support children and parents,” said Scott.

“Our website also contains resources to support parents during this time.”

Parent Rodney Chiang-Cruise told Rainbow Families that his school community had been extremely receptive of the new guide.

“It is something that I have been wanting ever since this survey was announced,” Rodney said.

“I wanted something that I could take to my son’s school and speak about.

“The guide is great. This morning I sent it to the headmaster of my son’s school and within 30 minutes he was back in contact with me. He understood my concerns about the hate campaign being waged against our families.

“He did more than just understand, with the guide in hand he committed to ensuring all teachers get a copy, committed to speaking to all the teachers about looking out for our kids. He went further and said he would make it part of his assembly address and put it in the weekly newsletter.

“As a gay dad, I felt a huge sigh of relief. We may not be able to stop the hate campaign, but with the school we can ensure our son’s school is a safe place for him. I am grateful to the headmaster for being so receptive. I am happy that I had the guide to start that conversation.”

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