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Buckie High kids team up with Jags to help fly the pride flag

By Alan Beresford

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BUCKIE Community High School (BCHS) and Buckie Thistle are flying the flag for equality and diversity – quite literally.

Students from the school's Young Leaders of Learning programme have teamed up with the town's Highland league side to fly the rainbow flag at Victoria Park to mark Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride month which runs throughout June.

The youngsters, drawn from S1-3, made their way to the Jags' ground last Tuesday to raise the flag aloft where it is due to stay until the end of the month.

One of the group, S2 student Mason Simpson, explained that they had begun by looking at the Stonewall riots in New York back in 1969 which saw people protesting against the then legal prohibition against homosexuality.

He continued: "We started work on this just before Christmas and did some stuff online when school was closed in lockdown.

"We also learned that it was illegal to be gay in Scotland until 1980 and that gay people couldn't get married until 2014.

"It really shocked us.

"This has helped us understand what it must be like for those people who couldn't talk about how they felt.

"We're very proud of what we've all done and we're very happy we could partner up with Buckie Thistle for this."

The Young Leaders for Learning programme aims to provide a pupil-eye view of how the school can be improved in a number of ways.

Mason added: "It's been a really good experience.

"There's been a lot of teamwork as you're always working with different people.

"I really like it that we are tackling real life problems."

One of those impressed by the group's efforts was BCHS rector Neil Johnson.

"It's a great effort which has been driven by the pupils," he continued.

"They've done a huge amount of work over range of things, showing fantastic leadership as a group.

"The group have also shown some Buckie grit in negotiating with various agencies, including the council.

"I'd also like to thank Buckie Thistle for allowing the group to fly the flag from the ground."

Jags vice-president Raymond Cardno said the club were delighted to be able to help.

"Buckie Thistle are a community club and we're delighted to be able to team up with the Buckie High kids like this to help support LGBTQ+ pride month."

Chair of Moray Council’s Children and Young People’s Services Committee, Buckie councillor Sonya Warren, commented: “I’m thrilled to see schools flying the flag; it’s so important for young people to feel included and safe, and to know it’s ok to be who they are – within our schools and wherever they are in life.”

Moray Council’s Equalities Champion, Councillor Shona Morrison, said: “I’m delighted that Moray high schools will begin flying the Pride flag tomorrow to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride month.

"Schools should be places which embrace diversity and promote inclusivity and offer each pupil a sense of belonging and acceptance.

“I’m incredibly proud of the young people who have organised the flag flying and look forward to seeing pictures from around Moray.”

The flag will also be hoisted at Moray Council’s HQ in Elgin to mark the celebration of Pride month.

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