23 March 2016

The Australian Christian Lobby QLD Director Wendy Francis said it was time the QLD Government comes clean and releases the names of the schools that have signed up to the controversial so-called Safe Schools program, particularly as concerns with the program linger.

“It is not good enough for the QLD Government to keep secret from parents the names of the schools that are using the Safe Schools Coalition resources,” Ms Francis said.

“It is hard for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister Kate Jones to defend their position when the Federal Government has called for greater transparency in the program and there remains deep concerns with the remaining gender ideology.

“It is disturbing that the Opposition Party has been kept in the dark about the full extent of the program’s use in QLD.”

Last month the ACL resorted to lodging a freedom of information request in order to obtain the names of the schools involved.

The ACL in QLD is running a petition against the Safe Schools program that is signed by 8,360 Queenslanders, and besides other things calls for the names to be released.

“Every other State has always provided the names of the schools that are part of the program. The QLD Government should explain why it has difficulty in releasing the names in QLD,” Ms Francis said.

“In addition, the Government should provide this information to the Shadow Education Minister, Tim Mander, who has expressed concerns with the program.”

Francis said the QLD Government should be open-minded about the program and focus on ensuring the best resources were available to students, rather than blindly follow rainbow ideology.

“The program’s creator, Roz Ward, has openly stated at a Safe Schools Symposium in 2014 that ‘the Safe Schools Coalition is about supporting gender and sexual diversity. Not about celebrating diversity. Not about stopping bullying’,”

Over 30 QLD schools, five of them primary and seven of which are P-12 have signed up to the program. This is despite the Federal Government saying primary schools should not be part of the program.

Ms Francis said confusing concepts were still prevalent in the Safe Schools Program after changes where made by Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham.

“The program still encourages teachers to drop terms like “he” or “she” when referring to students,” Ms Francis said.

“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 innocuous phrases like “ladies and gentlemen” or “boys and girls” – this is ideological madness.

“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.”


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