High Notes, Vol 17 No 14, May 20 2016
New Online Payment Portal
Payment Trial Instructions
The payment portal operates like an online store, allowing you to browse a categorised list of payments, pick an item to pay for, add it to your basket and then checkout to pay using Visa or MasterCard.
Before making a payment, you must tell the payment system who you are paying for. We can identify students using their student ID number, your email address (as provided to the school) or your parent portal login.
You can refer to your current statement of account sent by mail to identify which payments are outstanding for your son. Please ensure what you are paying for corresponds to what has been invoiced.
During the trial, payments for Winter Sport 2016 co-payments and invoiced Co-Curricular co-payments will be taken.
The payment portal can also link you through to the school’s online gifting systems operated by the Sydney High School Foundation and the Australian Sports Foundation.
When you complete an order, please note:
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
"Special Guests Hon Justice Michael Kirby and Raymond Roca (SHS 2007) staff, students, I welcome you to our special assembly to acknowledge the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ In all cultures, spiritual teachings, philosophies and faiths there is a version of this fundamental expression of human worth and dignity. Humans desire respectful relationships with one another. Regrettably, too many people don’t self-edit before they say or do things that have negative effects on others, reducing the feelings of self-worth and dignity in those others.
"Homophobia is ‘a useful term of social description for everyday tension about sexual identity that is widespread among heterosexuals’. Not everyone who is homophobic engages in discriminatory behaviour towards gay and lesbian individuals. However, people passively still contribute to a general social attitude of intolerance towards them, principally by not confronting those who are discriminatory.
"Michael Hood and Clive Hamilton in a 2005 paper entitled ‘Mapping Homophobia in Australia’ used a Ray Morgan database of c.25,000 respondents aged 14 years and older. In the study homophobia was identified with those who believe homosexuality is immoral. Their findings were that more than 35% of the population believe that homosexuality is immoral. On gender lines 42% of men and 27% of women hold this view. Boys aged 14-17 are more likely to be homophobic than young adults 18-25. Homophobic attitudes are linked to levels of education – 25% of those tertiary educated were homophobic, compared to 40-50% of those who didn’t complete high school. Australians over 65 are more homophobic (53%).
"The problem with homophobia is that it is unreasoning. When attitudes are based in beliefs they are difficult to modify. In places like schools, homophobic attitudes lead to displays of exaggerated macho behaviour and, more insidiously, to stigmatising heterosexual peers, who are accused of having ‘gay characteristics’. At High we have an anonymous reporting process to uncover the incidence of such practices in our community. I urge more boys to use this facility. It is so important for us to become self-editors in our discourse whenever we contemplate saying something personal about another.
"Schools and workplaces can be distressing for gay and lesbian individuals. They can suffer stress when hiding their sexuality for fear of the consequences of being found out. For those courageous enough to declare their sexuality, their subsequent treatment by peers can lead to depression and suicide ideation.
"In a sample of 900, Flood & Hamilton found that 59% of gay and lesbian respondents in workplaces had experienced harassment or prejudicial treatment. In schools, Same Sex Attracted Youth are six times more likely to attempt suicide than the population as a whole. Discrimination, victimisation or violence was experienced by 81% of boys at school. The perpetrators were mainly other students (59%) or even friends (10%). These are alarming findings.
"At High we have a policy declaring a discrimination free environment. However, to make a policy work we have to change beliefs. All of us are being asked to question ourselves as to why we feel it is OK to call someone a ‘poof’ or describe a behaviour - ‘that’s so gay’. We need to change behaviours. First, we must be more sensitive about what we say and to whom we say it. Second, we must realise that talking about sexual diversity is not promoting homosexuality. Third, we must broaden our ideas about respecting diversity in general.
"Two thirds of our society reject the view that homosexuality is immoral. Gradually, this critical mass will grow larger. It is up to us to help accelerate that process. We can all do so by being mindful of what we say and do. It starts with our individual discourse. ‘A stone thrown and a word spoken cannot be recalled’. Try not to use wounding words.
"As a school community we can model respectful, inclusive relationships in public assemblies such
as this one. We can have reporting structures and peer mediation processes. We can punish overt
acts and social media slurs. For beliefs to alter we need to persuade our community to honour
essential human dignity. It is unacceptable for anyone’s unreasoned attitudes to be allowed
to inflict harm on someone else."
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