CHANGES TO SAFE SCHOOLS PROGRAM WELCOMED BUT DO THEY GO FAR ENOUGH
Ros Phillips, research officer for FamilyVoice Australia, has welcomed Education Minister Birmingham’s admission that the controversial “Safe Schools” program is flawed, saying it is a victory for Australian parents. But she says much will depend on who is chosen to fix the problem. Senator Birmingham said that the program will no longer be allowed in primary schools; that parental consent will be required for children to participate in the program; that some parts of the program will be rewritten; that sexual and gender diversity advocacy should not be part of the program. “My thanks go to the thousands of parents who signed our open letter to the PM as well as those who have signed other petitions alerting MPs to the serious issues underlying the deceptively-named ‘Safe Schools’ program,” Ros Phillips said.
“As I pointed out earlier, Roz Ward – one of the Safe Schools Coalition founders – admitted to students and teachers at the official program launch in June 2014 that the program is ‘not about stopping bullying’. It’s not about respecting everyone. It’s about promoting homosexuality and transgenderism.” Ros Phillips said parents will not be satisfied until it is clear that the final form of the program does indeed fulfil the minister’s stated requirements. “Who will do the editing and rewriting?” she asked. “How can we be sure they will not be drawn from the same openly Marxist academics who wrote the original version? “How can we be sure that third party links and branding will not quietly reappear down the track after the current furore has died down?” “The current ‘Safe Schools’ program should be scrapped.”
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) also welcomed the Federal Government’s substantial pruning of the so-called Safe Schools program after more than 18 months of campaigning. Despite the changes announced, ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said the program still encouraged teachers drop terms like “he” or “she” when referring to students. An ideology that says someone’s gender is largely a social construct continues to be the underlying idea taught to children and that is something most parents would have issues with. Gender specific speech should not be purged from our schools to suit an ideology. This has nothing to do with stopping bullying. Kids should not be confused with the prohibition of words like “he” and “she” or phrases like “ladies and gentlemen” or “boys and girls”. – this is ideological madness.
“It also appears that the program continues to encourage schools to change their toilet policy in a manner that could allow boys identifying as girls to use the girl’s toilets. “We are seeking clarification from the Minister’s office on this,” Mr Shelton said. “We welcome the opportunity for parents to be consulted and for them to have a say in whether or not their children participate.” Mr Shelton said a program promoting resources that instruct in chest binding for girls and penis tucking for boys should never have been allowed into schools in the first place. “Schools will be safer now that Minister Birmingham has stripped Safe Schools of its ability to promote websites promoting sex products and other age inappropriate content.”
Source: Compiled by APN from material supplied be various sources
STUDENT PROTESTORS THRASH SENATOR COREY BERNARDI’S OFFICES
Cory Bernardi has blamed Bill Shorten for inciting supporters of the Safe Schools program to trash his electorate office. The South Australian Liberal senator said that the Opposition Leader gave protestors an implicit green light to resort to name calling and violence to shut down debate, after Mr Shorten last month labelled him a “homophobe” for pushing for a review of a taxpayer-funded program about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or intersex students in schools. “Bill Shorten resorted to name calling and gave the implicit green light to all of his supporters to do the same, and it encourages people to take actions into their own hands,” Senator Bernardi said. “The Left are the modern totalitarians.” Senator Bernardi was among those leading the charge against the Safe Schools program.
Senator Bernardi was one of the signatories who petitioned the Prime Minister for a parliamentary inquiry into the scheme which resulted in the program being watered down amid concern by some parents and teachers that the program was indoctrinating students. Protesters angry at the decision marched on Senator Bernardi’s electorate office in Adelaide last Friday and defaced it with vile graffiti, overturned furniture and tipped papers and documents onto floors. During the attack Mr Bernardi’s wife and staffers retreated into other rooms. Senator Bernardi said the protesters had acted in a cowardly and gutless way. “It says something about the totalitarianism of the Left. When their ideology is challenged they resort to name calling and violence,” he said. “I will never be bullied into submission by anyone.”
In a statement the ACL said the attack showed a disturbing lack of tolerance among rainbow activists. ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said while everyone has a right to express their views on the Safe Schools program no one should resort to violence or bullying. “Storming the office and intimidating staff with violent action is despicable and cowardly behaviour,” Mr Shelton said. “Senator Bernardi has raised valid concerns about the Safe Schools program and in a civil society these should be allowed to be debated on their merits. “It is ironic that the protestors say that they are against any forms of bullying yet they themselves are resorting to bullying and standover tactics. “Same-sex political activists need to engage in civil dialogue rather than trying to perpetuate fear among those who have differing views to them.
Mr Shelton continued “Intimidation and bully tactics have sadly become all too common amongst those pushing rainbow ideology. Calling people bigots or homophobes does not address the issues that are being raised and is designed to silence any opposing views. ACL staff have also been subject to threating phone calls, death threats and intimidation as a result of the work that has been done to expose what is contained in the Safe Schools program and security at national office has been beefed up. In February, several ACL staff members were sent graphic and disturbing pornographic images. This included images which appear to contain children. ACL has reported this to Police, who are undertaking an inquiry.
VICTORIAN SCHOOL DEFIES PREMIER AND REFUSES TO PARTICIPATE IN SAFE SCHOOLS PROGRAM
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) welcomes the decision of the Kyabram College, in Victoria, not to sign up to the controversial ‘Safe Schools’ program. Last week the College Council decided not to align themselves to the Safe Schools Program and shared the decision with parents on the front page of the Kyabram College Channels magazine. According to the school magazine, the Council accepted the following motion: “Our College promotes acceptance to all categories of people regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion, or age. The College Council believes they do not need to align themselves to the Safe Schools Coalition to do this.” ACL Victorian Director Dan Flynn said the Council’s decision not to participate in Safe Schools follows concerns expressed by parents, grandparents and the community about the age-inappropriate sexualised nature of the program.
“These concerns are not unfounded. “The Safe Schools program, mandatory in all Victorian High Schools by 2018, tells children they must have access to the Minus 18 website which instructs girls in chest binding so their breasts are flattened and penis tucking for boys. “When parents and school communities find out about the truth of the program, they don’t want their children being exposed to contested gender theory – regardless of the Andrews Government’s drive for mandatory implementation. “Respect for all students can be encouraged without allowing boys who identify as girls to use the girls toilets at school. All children deserve to feel safe at school and parents have a right to expect this.
“We encourage other Australian parents to investigate the content and raise concerns with their school councils.” Mr Flynn said there were already anti-bullying programs in place that address all kinds of bullying. “The Victorian Education Department’s Bully Stoppers program already addresses bullying, including bullying based on sexual orientation,” Mr Flynn said. “Safe Schools should be withdrawn from Victorian schools. Earlier it was reported that the National Catholic Education Commission has told Catholic education leaders that: “The Safe Schools Coalition material and programs have been examined by Catholic education authorities and are not considered appropriate for use in Catholic schools.” Mr Flynn said no Victorian school community should be forced to accept the Safe Schools program.