Rainbow Day (Orlando, FA, injustice and other stories)
23rd Jun 2016
By Bradley Fry, Principal
Written in the lead-up to the final day of Term 2, our school focus should be on the impressive and admirable achievements, growth and enthusiasm of a term well-lived by boys and girls, senior and junior students, by our staff and our community. While watching and being a part of this term has been more enjoyable than I can say, recent events have cast a dark pall over the end of our term.
As you read this, it will be holidays and the Tintern Grammar Rainbow Day will be over, but an explanation of why we did this is important.
As Reverend Alison Andrew outlined in Secondary Assembly last Wednesday, as a school and as a community, we will always stand against injustice. What was perpetrated in a nightclub in Orlando last week appears to have been the worst of injustice; violence as the ultimate expression of judgement on the rights of others. While this took place a long way away from us, as I said to our students, it is too easy to read a distant story on our iPad, “tut tut” to ourselves, and swipe to the next current event.
However, the reality is far more tragic. Although it feels as though this happened a long way away, nearly 50 people died in this tragic rampage of violence and those people are each someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, father, mother, husband, wife or partner. For them the sun will never rise again and for their loved ones, never again the same way. The extent of this tragedy is impossible to articulate, but as a school we will stand against this and make a statement; both to our own community and with Orlando.
On Rainbow Day, we will collect a package of photographs, statements and other media and forward them to Orlando. This will be Tintern Grammar’s clear and unequivocal statement that we stand with them against the horror and injustice that has been forced upon them and to express our sorrow for their loss and sadness.
While all of us would acknowledge the maturity and development that comes from forced acquaintance with death as a part of the cycle of life in our families and at times through the media, from tragedies such as Orlando we gather nothing but despair and it fuels despair and pessimism in our children.
It is for all these reasons that we owe it to our younger community to protest against these events, to articulate their wrongness, to rail against their injustice. It is by this that we urge our community to speak out and not be silent, to act and not to stand by, when there is injustice.
By wearing our most colourful clothes today, we made a stand with and on behalf of people we do not know, who live 15,000 km away, and by doing so we became more complete as people and as a community. I truly hope your children appreciate the importance of this surge begun by a question from Reverend Alison. It has been a remarkable response from our community
Thank you all for all our support.