25 years after Section 28, Stonewall launches ground-breaking film for primary schools

Stonewall today launches FREE, a ground-breaking new film for primary schools to help tackle bullying and celebrate difference.

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25 years after the introduction of Section 28, a piece of legislation that banned resources like FREE, the film follows the stories of four children exploring family, friendship and what it means to be yourself.

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FREE is launched tonight (5 March) at a première, kindly supported by BNP Paribas, at the Curzon cinema in London’s West End. The film is the culmination of four years’ work with primary schools, pupils, teachers and parents to develop resources that engage and inspire children to be themselves.

Every primary school in Britain will receive the film complete with a detailed lesson plan which helps them to tackle bullying and celebrate different families in an age-appropriate manner. The new resources follow on from the success of the critically acclaimed FIT, the film sent to every secondary school in Britain to tackle and prevent homophobic bullying.

Directed by Rikki-Beadle Blair, FREE is backed by former Children’s Laureate Jacqueline Wilson who said: ‘Stonewall is doing a wonderful job working with teachers and young people to make sure no-one is bullied because they or their family might be gay.’

Mumsnet CEO Justine Roberts has also welcomed the film: ‘Despite best attempts many parents find it tricky to talk to their kids about relationships. Films like these from Stonewall are a great way to reassure and educate children.’

Ruth Hunt, Stonewall’s Acting Chief Executive said: ‘Every parent wants their child to grow up in a world where they can be themselves. A world where they can learn, play and make friends at school and beyond. A vital part of growing up in 21st century Britain is learning that difference is something to be celebrated, not shunned. FREE helps schools teach this important lesson in an age-appropriate way.’

Full details and more clips of FREE can be found at: www.stonewall.org.uk/FREE. You can also join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter using #BeFREE.

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