Out In Schools, in conjunction with the Vancouver School Board, is encouraging students across British Columbia to create a 30-second public service announcement that will inspire others to accept, respect, value and celebrate queer people.
Homophobia and bullying continue to be serious issues facing today’s youth. Out In Schools, a queer outreach organization, reports that 34% of queer youth have said they have been threatened with violence at school, 17% have actually been assaulted, and an astonishing 71% have seriously considered suicide and 46% reported to have actually attempted it.
“The annual PSA competition allows students to share their voice with their peers using videos to create youth-to-youth messaging” said Ross Johnstone, Director of Youth Education for Out in Schools. “The program starts conversations. Out in Schools gives students a platform where art and creativity can impact social change.”
Students are invited to write and create 30-second public service announcements for submission by April 26th, 2011. Winning PSAs will screen in front of 13,000 people at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival (August 11-21, 2011) and throughout BC during Out in Schools’ presentations. For full contest rules and submission information visit outinschools.com.
Out in Schools began as a pilot project in 2004, launched by the Out On Screen Film and Video Society, home of the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Out in Schools has seen a steady increase in support since its inception strong connections with local Gay Straight Alliances, educators and the Vancouver School Board.
Out In Schools brings queer films to high schools across British Columbia to facilitate discussion with youth on bullying, homophobia and stereotypes, giving youth a safe space to explore these issues.