A principal has given the green light for same-sex couples to attend their school’s debutante ball following an online petition started by two Year 11 students.
Best friends, Tia D’Amico and Rebekah Mills, who attend Bundoora Secondary College, had started a petition through Change.Org to gain community support for an “inclusive schooling environment”.
The two girls came up with the idea last year, as they didn’t feel comfortable around the boys in their year grade.
The petition, which has 643 supporters, gained media attention this month and soon led to the school’s principal, Sue Muscat, to confirm she was happy to let same-sex couples attend the school’s debutante ball together.
Muscat told The Educator that diversity and inclusivity were values her school took seriously, and factored into her decision to allow the two students to attend the ball together.
“It’s not right to discriminate on sexuality,” Muscat said.
“It’s always been our policy to be inclusive and I'm excited that we have finally got an environment both in the school and the community in which students feel safe to ‘come out’ in.”
The students welcomed the school’s decision, saying that all schools should be supportive of students who are on their journey of self-discovery.
“Since we’re still young we’re finding ourselves, so your school has to be really supportive of your ideas and who you are,” D’Amico told the Star Observer.
“I’ve had people comment on the petition saying their school would never let anyone take a same-sex partner to the deb.
“What schools need to realise, now that it’s 2016, is that it’s a lot more common and people feel more comfortable being themselves and expressing themselves.”