Organisers InsideOUT Kōaro say Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa is more important than ever pointing to research that shows that over one-third (37%) of rainbow secondary schools students have experienced bulling at school, including 46% of trans students.

Now in its fifth year, Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa is a nationwide rainbow pride campaign in schools, running June 17-21 2024. This celebratory week includes events and activities aimed to help foster a sense of belonging for rainbow young people within their schools and communities. Last year, over 60% of New Zealand secondary schools took part.

“In today’s political climate, we are seeing a rise in disinformation and hateful rhetoric targeting rainbow communities,” says Tabby Besley, InsideOUT’s Managing Director. “This rise has been documented extensively in local and international research. In our work, we are witnessing how this trickles down into schools and the detrimental impact this has on young people’s wellbeing. Paired with the government’s plan to remove and replace the RSE guidelines which support schools to create rainbow inclusive schools, it’s been an extra difficult time for rainbow young people when it comes to feeling like a valued part of their schools.”


Schools’ Pride Week itself has been subjected to numerous disinformation and defamation campaigns in recent years. These attacks have been led by well-known anti-rainbow hate groups and ultraconservative Christian organisations. Despite the pushback, InsideOUT and hundreds of schools around the country are undeterred as they celebrate Pride.

“Acknowledging and celebrating the existence of rainbow young people, whānau and communities is at the heart of Schools’ Pride Week,” says Besley. “Our hope is that this week helps teach rangatahi about the importance of diversity, inclusion and equality and gives those that identify within the rainbow community a sense of belonging at school.”

As with previous years, school events for Schools’ Pride Week Aotearoa will typically be run by students, with rainbow diversity groups showcasing their leadership skills to advocate for safer, more inclusive school environments.

“Schools Pride Week was my first exposure to the LGBTQIA+ community at my school, and it made me feel safe knowing that at least there were others who I could talk to,” says a previous youth participant.

Schools Pride Week Aotearoa coincides with Out on the Shelves, an opportunity for school and community libraries to build and promote their rainbow collections, celebrate rainbow stories and help connect rainbow young people with these stories and each other.