Schools in Birmingham, England, are at the forefront of a creative and musical process that may help students unlearn homophobia. We already know kids are born prejudice-free and therefore discrimination is learned. That means all forms of discrimination can be unlearned.
The Challenging Homophobia in Primary Schools (CHIPS) Action Song Project uses stories and imagery from books chosen because they positively highlight diverse families and people from different backgrounds. Musicians and teachers who support this idea compose songs with dance actions to accompany those books.
The results are already great – kids and schools involved at an early stage of the project say this is an engaging and exciting way to challenge homophobia, transphobia and bullying.
Children are the building blocks to a prejudice-free future, and this project gives us a framework which is fun-loving, to help us deliver an inclusive curriculum.
In total there are 20 songs to accompany 20 beautifully illustrated books that celebrate diversity and different families. Schools are given guidance how to use the books as part of the CHIPS program.
Books include ‘Elmer’ the patchwork elephant by David Mckee and ‘King and King’ by Linda De Haan and Stern Nijland about two princes who fall in love and marry.
Birmingham City Council has been very supportive too. As the chief executive, Mark Rogers, said: ‘No young person should be afraid of growing up to be who they want to be.’
There’s hope the launch will inspire schools across the country and beyond to use the books and songs as they create a safe and inclusive environment for all students, including LGBT families.
via Gay Star News
Image from ‘King and King’